#cars
Growth of Gas Guzzling SUVs Adding Massive Amount of CO2 Globally

Growth of Gas Guzzling SUVs Adding Massive Amount of CO2 Globally

Second only to electric power globally since 2010, sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales have spiked and they are now contributing hugely to the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  In addition, global fuel economy worsened caused in part by the rising SUV demand even as efficiency improvements in smaller cars saved over 2 million barrels a day and electric cars displaced less than 100,000 barrels a day.

Why This Matters:  This is a big double whammy on efforts to curb CO2 emissions and decrease the demand for fossil fuels for cars.

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Ford and VW Team Up To Develop Electric and Self-Driving Cars

Ford and VW Team Up To Develop Electric and Self-Driving Cars

Ford Motors and Volkswagen announced Friday that they will partner to jointly develop electric and self-driving cars — in a union that plays to the strength of each company, Ford having an advantage on self-driving cars and Volkswagon on electric cars.  Volkswagen, since its settlement for fraud violations concerning pollution control systems on their diesel-fueled cars, has been working to bring to market next year a fully electric model called the ID.3, that it will sell for $34,000, making it affordable for middle-income buyers.  As a result, Ford will introduce a vehicle in Europe made from VW components in 2023, and plans to sell 600,000 electric cars over six years.

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Automakers Urge Trump To Keep Obama Fuel Efficiency Standards

Automakers Urge Trump To Keep Obama Fuel Efficiency Standards

OK, it almost NEVER happens that industry comes together and asks the government for tougher regulations. But thanks to President Trump that just happened.  Last week, 17 of the biggest auto companies sent President Trump a letter warning that if he goes ahead with this plan to roll back the fuel efficiency standards set by […]

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London marathon demonstrates positive impact of taking cars off the road

London marathon demonstrates positive impact of taking cars off the road

We recently wrote about the London Marathon’s commitment to sustainability by issuing runners electrolyte water contained in edible seaweed pouches. But avoiding plastic pollution wasn’t the only environmental achievement from the marathon’s organizers, it turns out air pollution along the marathon route dropped significantly and almost instantly during the event after vehicles were temporarily taken off the roads.

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Ford and GM to Add Jobs In MI to Build EVs

Ford and GM to Add Jobs In MI to Build EVs

Last week, both Ford and General Motors (GM), the largest American car manufacturers, announced plans to add jobs in Michigan to build electric vehicles, as both companies plan to substantially expand their lineup of electric vehicles to meet expected growing demand in the U.S. and in an effort to chip away at Tesla’s market share of EVs. 

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Volkswagen all in on EVs

Volkswagen all in on EVs

After its 2015 scandal where Volkswagen admitted to US regulators that it cheated on emissions tests, the German automaker has unveiled its new plan to invest heavily in electric vehicles and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. According to VW’s recent press release, the company plans to release 70 new electric models in the next ten […]

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Electric Vehicle Experiments Abound – Not Just For the Wealthy

Electric Vehicle Experiments Abound – Not Just For the Wealthy

After admitting in 2016 to lying about excessive diesel emissions, Volkswagen (VW) agreed to pay $14.7b in penalties of which $2b will be invested by a VW subsidiary called Electrify America to boost electric vehicle use. Of that, $800m goes to California where the state is requiring nearly $300m be spent to help low-income and disadvantaged communities gain access to electric vehicles, according to The New York Times. As a result, Sacramento is a hub for numerous electric vehicle pilot programs and the only controversy is whether more areas of California should get to have similar pilots.

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Reaching Paris Accord Emissions Cuts – There Is a Realistic Path Forward

Reaching Paris Accord Emissions Cuts – There Is a Realistic Path Forward

A study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications provides a glimmer of hope on meeting the Paris Agreement’s greenhouse gas emissions targets globally.  According to the study, if we begin right now, and “carbon-intensive infrastructure is phased out at the end of its design lifetime from the end of 2018, there is a 64% chance that peak global mean temperature rise remains below 1.5 °C.” 

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EVs for Show at the Auto Show in Detroit

EVs for Show at the Auto Show in Detroit

The major U.S. and foreign auto companies are racing to catch up to Tesla in the EV market, and are using this year’s auto show in Detroit to make the PR point, but there are few vehicles ready for market yet.   According to the AP, one of the reasons is that SUVs and trucks make up 72% of the new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month, compared to 49% in December 2012.  Thus, these new EVs will need to be SUVs, according to Axios.  But only two of the vehicles scheduled to be “rolled out” at the Detroit auto show are electrified, AP notes, and neither is available for sale yet. 

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Toyota goes “pedal to the metal” on electric vehicle plans

Toyota Motor Corporation announced last month that it intends to speed its development and introduction of additional electric vehicles (hybrids, battery electric models and fuel-cell electric), with a goal of having every Toyota and Lexus model include an “electrified” option by 2025. 

Why This Matters:  As we pointed out in another ODP story today, vehicle emissions are rising in the U.S. again — which is very bad news.  This announcement by Toyota shows that even though the Trump Administration is rolling back the clean car standards, the auto industry is going to move in the right direction.  Increasingly, U.S. consumers want to wean themselves off conventional gasoline cars and the market will reflect that.  What is needed is a full suite of electric options — more electric vehicles of all types, sizes, configurations and prices — and more companies like Toyota, Tesla and Volvo that are moving rapidly in that direction.  The future is most definitely electric.

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