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UCS Publications | Clean Vehicles

 

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UCS reports are available online. For print copies of *select* books and other items, see our online store, or complete this order form and send it to UCS Publications, 2 Brattle Sq., Cambridge, MA 02138-3780 (or fax it to 617-864-9405). For orders under $50, add 20% for shipping & handling; over $50, add 10%. UCS members are entitled to a 20% discount on all prices listed.

Fueling a Better Future: The Many Benefits of "Half the Oil"

Cutting projected U.S. oil use in half is an achievable goal with huge rewards. This 2013 report details how it could be done over the next 20 years, and the many ways it would benefit individuals, the economy, and the environment.

Add it all up, and a "Half the Oil" future would create jobs while curbing climate change and aiding national security. 

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Where Your Gas Money Goes: How Oil Companies Profit from Your Pain at the Pump

Americans spend billions of dollars on gas every year, but where does that money go? This 2013 report examines how drivers' gas dollars are split between stakeholders, from gas station attendants to drilling rigs and oil company executives.

The findings are unequivocal: the vast majority of gas dollars end up with large oil companies, not with communities, governments, or shareholders.

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State of Charge: Electric Vehicles' Global Warming Emissions and Fuel-Cost Savings Across the United States

Electric cars burn no gasoline and have no tailpipe emissions, but producing the electricity used to charge them does generate global warming emissions. The amount of these emissions, however, varies significantly based on the mix of energy sources used to power your region's electricity grid.
 
State of Charge compares the global warming emissions from electric cars with those from gasoline-powered vehicles for regional electricity grids throughout the United States. In addition, the report highlights the fuel-cost savings of electric vehicles by evaluating the charging costs for electric vehicles in 50 major U.S. cities.

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Automaker Rankings 2010: The Environmental Performance of Car Companies

In the closest competition to date, Honda claims the Greenest Automaker award amid a three-way photo finish—with Toyota and Hyundai tied for second place—in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ comprehensive environmental rankings.
 
Meanwhile, for the fourth time in UCS’s five assessments over the past 10 years, Chrysler again ranks as the most polluting automaker.

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The Billion Gallon Challenge

Advanced biofuels from diverse sources such as grasses and agricultural waste hold the promise of sustainably reducing U.S. oil dependence and global warming emissions. Unfortunately the advanced biofuels industry not been able to meet the demand as set out in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The Billion Gallon Challenge is an effort to build the support and policies needed to bring the fledgling advanced biofuels industry to maturity.  It also seeks to ensure that the biofuels market maximizes taxpayer investment and helps to strengthen U.S. energy and environmental security.

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Delivering the Green: Reducing Trucks' Climate Impacts While Saving at the Pump

Technology available today can help reduce harmful emissions from tractor-trailers that cause global warming and smog. These off-the-shelf technologies have the added benefit of saving truckers money at the pump according to a new report, Delivering the Green, by UCS. Considering only products that are commercially available today, tractor-trailers can be equipped with aerodynamic devices and high-performance tires and wheels yielding a greater-than-12-percent reduction in fuel consumption.

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Setting the Standard: How Cost-Effective Technology Can Increase Vehicle Fuel Economy

The federal agency writing regulations for vehicle fuel economy standards could lay the groundwork for a new vehicle fleetwide average of more than 50 miles per gallon by 2030, according to a 2008 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The regulations mark the first phase of implementing standards passed by Congress in the energy bill in December 2007.

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Biofuels: An Important Part of a Low-Carbon Diet

Expanded use of biofuels could cut global warming pollution, enhance our energy security, and strengthen local economies, but a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that not all biofuels are created equal.

Any expansion of alternative fuel production must be accompanied by standards that account for each fuel's full global warming impact—in other words, the total heat-trapping emissions associated with a fuel over its entire life cycle (from the oil well, coal mine, or farm to the vehicle engine).

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School Bus Pollution Report Card 2006: Grading the States

A state-by-state assessment of school bus pollution and cleanup efforts around the country.

By Patricia Monahan. UCS, 2006. 69 pp.

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Automaker Rankings 2007: The Environmental Performance of Car Companies

This report helps consumers and investors separate hype from reality by using government data to quantitatively determine which automakers truly are the greenest when the rubber meets the road.

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Automaker Rankings 2004: The Environmental Performance of Car Companies

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Are Cars Still a Problem?: Real-World Emission Reductions from Passenger Vehicles Over the Past 30 Years (Full report) (1997)

In 1996, auto and oil industry groups claimed that modern cars emit 96 percent less pollution than 1960s-era cars built before emissions were regulated. These claims were misleading. In fact, 30 years of motor-vehicle pollution control regulations have reduced pollution from the entire US passenger vehicle fleet far less than one would expect.

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Sick of Soot: Reducing the Health Impacts of Diesel Pollution in California

This report highlights the impact of diesel pollution on public health in California and its potential impact during the next two decades. Existing "clean diesel" incentive programs and cost-effective retrofit technology on existing diesel engines could save thousands of lives and billions of dollars over the next 15 years.

By Don Anair and Patricia Monahan. UCS, 2004. 54 pp.

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Climate Control: Global Warming Solutions for California Cars

Global warming emissions from California's vehicle fleet could be cut by 20 percent using existing technologies, with little additional cost to consumers.

By Louise Bedsworth. UCS, 2004. pp. 48.

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The Diesel Dilemma: Diesel's Role in the Race for Clean Cars

This report presents a new “apples-to-apples” comparison of diesel and gasoline technologies, applying each to the five major classes of passenger vehicles (small cars, larger “family” cars, sport utility vehicles, minivans, and pickup trucks).

By Patricia Monahan and David Friedman. UCS, 2004. 68 pp.

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Building a Better SUV: A Blueprint for Saving Lives, Money, and Gasoline

This report shows how existing technologies can be used to offer consumers an SUV that is safer, cleaner, and more cost-effective, while retaining the size and performance SUV drivers have today.

By David Friedman. UCS, 2003. 38 pp.

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Cleaning Up Diesel Pollution: Emissions from Off-Highway Engines by State

This report shows how diesel engines in construction and farm equipment are a major source of air pollution. It also discusses the lagging emissions standards for these engines and describes how cost-effective technologies could be implemented as part of a comprehensive cleanup plan.

By Patricia Monahan. UCS, 2003. 65 pp.

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A New Road: The Technology and Potential of Hybrid Vehicles

This report provides consumers and policy-makers with the tools they will need to sort out the many technological, financial, and environmental differences among the hybrids that will be brought to market in the coming years.

By David Friedman. UCS, 2003. 70 pp.

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Automaker Rankings: The Environmental Performance of Car Companies

This report helps separate the hype from the hardware by using government data to quantitatively determine which automakers are the greenest based on the vehicles they actually sell in their showrooms.

By Jason Mark. UCS, 2002. 36 pp.

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Paying at the Pump: 2002 Analysis of Vehicles and Gasoline Costs

This report calculates which of the nation's most popular cars will be the most expensive to drive in 2002. It also determines how much car owners could save at the pump if off-the-shelf technology—which is capable of improving fuel economy by 30 percent for light trucks and by 27 percent for cars—were put to work.

By David Friedman. UCS, 2002. 62 pp.

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Pollution Report Card: Grading America's School Bus Fleets

This report assesses the pollution performance of state school bus fleets and gives them clean-air grades, ranging from "outstanding" to "failure."

While the distribution of grades varies across the country, no states score as high as they might have because all of them rely upon high-polluting school buses, fueled primarily by diesel, to transport children. Cleaner alternatives exist today that can provide for our nation's children transportation that is both safe and clean.

By Patricia Monahan. UCS, 2002. 67 pp.

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Drilling in Detroit: Tapping the Ingenuity of the Automaker Industry to Build Safe and Efficient Automobiles

A comprehensive exposition of the economic and environmental benefits of achieving a fuel-efficient fleet.

By David Friedman et al. UCS, 2001. 117 pp.

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Rolling Smokestacks: Cleaning Up America's Trucks and Buses

Diesel engines on our highways, and the promise of new technologies to help clear the air.

By Jason Mark and Candace Morey UCS, 2000. 68 pp.

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Pollution Lineup

How automakers stack up on pollution and what they can do to improve their standing.

By Candace Morey, Roland Hwang, Jim Kliesch, and John DeCicco. UCS, 2000. 22 pp.

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Diesel Passenger Vehicles and the Environment

A detailed review of public-health and technological issues related to diesel passenger vehicles, including a critical perspective on the reintroduction of diesel into US markets for cars and light trucks.

By Jason Mark and Candace Morey. UCS, 1999.

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