Energy Exchange

Selected tag(s): Electric Vehicles

New multi-state collaboration makes an important commitment to electric trucks and buses

As our nation grapples with a historic public health crisis, 15 states and the District of Columbia are showing leadership by committing to address a dangerous culprit that makes us more vulnerable to COVID-19 and climate change: diesel pollution from trucks and buses.

These pollutants have significant negative consequences on air quality and health. Despite comprising just 10% of vehicles on the road across the U.S., trucks and buses are responsible for 57% of fine particulate matter, 45% of oxides of nitrogen and 28% of greenhouse gas emissions for that sector.

Besides increased planetary warming, pollution from diesel vehicles leads to a higher rate of asthma, heart attacks and premature deaths — ailments that disproportionately affect people of color and disadvantaged communities, which often border freight corridors, ports and depots. A growing body of evidence suggests that people with respiratory illnesses, often caused or exacerbated by transportation-related pollution, are more susceptible to the effects of COVID-19. Read More »

Posted in Air Quality, California, Clean Energy, Colorado, Electric Vehicles, NESCAUM, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Washington, DC / Tagged | Comments are closed

Electrifying trucks and buses is an opportunity for lasting change, one we can’t afford to miss

The U.S. is still struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19 and quantify the human and economic consequences of this historic tragedy. But already, leaders are contemplating how we’ll restore our economies. Will we rebuild a replica of what we had, or will we invest in ideas that will make society more resilient, healthier, cleaner and more equitable?

The transportation sector is on the cusp of massive change, and one segment within it is ripe for reinvention: medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. These include everything from semi-trucks and delivery vans, to city buses and garbage trucks — the overwhelming majority of which are powered by diesel engines.

Electrifying this segment was an opportunity for lasting change before the COVID-19 economic crash. Now that countries are considering where to invest to rebuild their economies, it’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.

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Posted in Air Quality, California, Climate, Electric Vehicles / Tagged | Comments are closed

Is Clean Energy Technology Booming? Five Reasons It Is.

To see the full infographic, go to

By: Benjamin Schneider

You may have heard about the recent 60 Minutes segment that inexplicably reported the cleantech sector was in steep decline. There are quite a few reports out there breaking down the many fallacies of that segment, with most correctly concluding the sector is not dead, it is in fact booming and evidence of that surging momentum is everywhere you look. Consider these five examples that show just how good things are for cleantech these days:

1.  The solar industry is booming.

The facts are unequivocal: the solar industry is alive and well. According to a new report and infographic released this week by Greentech Media Research and the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), 2013 was a banner year. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Grid Modernization, Renewable Energy / Also tagged , | Read 2 Responses

Volt’s Speed Bump Is Neither Shocking Nor Alarming

By: Jamie Fine, EDF Economist, and Colin Meehan, EDF Clean Energy Analyst

Source: Technorati

Last Friday’s move by General Motors (GM) to briefly suspend production of the Chevy Volt must not be misconstrued as a sign that the car is failing to advance American leadership in building a clean energy future. 

Just a few short years ago, it was widely argued that America’s vehicle manufacturers could never again be healthy competitors in the global marketplace.  They simply lacked the vision, discipline, and innovation skills necessary to re-invent themselves, it was said.  

Today, many of those same doom-sayers are again selling American manufacturing short.  GM blames those critics for the pause in Volt production, saying they have treated the car as a “political lightning rod.” 

GM has a point.  With Volt production by its 1300 Michigan employees slated to resume in April, the critics are missing the real story behind the Volt and other electric vehicles in production and under development.  That is the story of steady and determined progress toward American leadership in building the clean, reliable, safe and sought-after vehicles Americans want to buy.  With that progress comes the promise of new jobs, a cleaner environment, and reclaimed pride and competitiveness of America’s manufacturers.  For GM, the Volt symbolizes the company’s technological prowess in its most profitable year ever. 

Lost in the gloomy rhetoric about the Volt is some genuine good news: the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are actually beating the sales history of their hybrid cousins.  When the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight were offered as the first commercially available hybrids in 2000, only 9,350 cars were sold.  By the end of their first year, over 17,000 Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts were sold.  This is a particularly impressive debut considering the headwinds they have faced in terms of negative publicity and technological hurdles. 

The Prius is now among the best selling cars in the U.S. with over 2 million vehicles on the road.  Most major auto manufacturers now offer hybrid vehicles, from Buick to BMW to Hyundai.  The same can be said for electric vehicles (EV) today., the “official U.S. government source for fuel economy information,” lists 16 new models coming out over the next few years and another six models planned for limited release and testing.  Ford, Honda, Toyota and Mitsubishi have new electric or plug-in hybrid models coming out this year, with Ford and Toyota each offering two new models this year. 

Innovations in EV technology, production economies of scale and rising gasoline prices continue to improve the value proposition for EVs.  In just one example, an important breakthrough announced by GM-backed Envia will reduce the cost of EVs most expensive component–the battery–while extending driving range.

Electric vehicles can be fueled by almost anything, from wind and solar to natural gas power, which makes them possibly our greatest asset in any effort to reduce our dependence on foreign fuel supplies.  For all the increased oil production in the U.S. over the past few years, our domestic supplies remain a drop in the bucket compared with our consumption.

Electric vehicles aren’t just about saving money or achieving energy independence.  A number of recent studies, such as the latest from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, find that vehicle electrification is a necessary part of any meaningful strategy to fight climate change.  

Fortunately, the future for electric vehicles remains bright.  But don’t believe us, just ask the automakers.  “Most major auto manufacturers have announced their EV and/or PHEV production plans, which add up to 0.9 million units by 2015 and about 1.4 million units per year by 2020,” wrote Lew Fulton Senior Transport Analyst at the IEA.

Whatever politically motivated attacks may be aimed at EVs, and whatever shortcomings these revolutionary new vehicles may display, one thing is certain: the move to EVs represents a rebirth of confidence in American innovation, workers, and competitive manufacturing.  It also marks an irreversible national commitment to building a cleaner, more fuel-efficient transportation system for a prosperous American future.

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