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Perspectives

Don't Let Politics Kill American Innovation

The huge gulf between environmentalists and the auto industry is shrinking. The relationship between these two interests has evolved to where we are finding a way to agree, and not just reflexively oppose everything the other side has to say.  Last summer, automakers and environmentalist joined together to support the historic new clean car agreement […]

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Rising Gas Prices Show Importance of EVs

Revenge has come. In April, 200 Sierra Club members across the country hosted screenings of Revenge of the Electric Car. Thousands gathered to watch a great film and welcome electric vehicles that seemed impossible only a few years ago.  As EVs are hitting the market, Big Oil, their cronies on Fox News, and even presidential candidates […]

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Meeting the Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge

Though natural gas vehicles (NGVs) have been around since the 1930s, they have never been able to break through the barriers to their widespread application in America – special infrastructure requirements, a shortage of fueling stations, and awkward, expensive fuel tanks that must be filled at pressures as high as 3600 psi. Moreover, until just […]

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EV Deployment Key to Moving Away from Oil

President Obama has announced proposals for continued support of advanced car and truck technologies, including EVs and other alternative fuel vehicles as well as infrastructure needed to support these vehicles. These proposals, and others like it, are essential for advancing technology that can help alleviate pain at the pump and dependence on oil. The proposal […]

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The Evolving Auto Scene: Are NGVs Next?

The auto field has seen interesting twists and turns over the years as it has explored the use of alternative fuels and advanced technologies to improve environmental performance. I have witnessed the ebb and flow of focus on fuels ranging from hydrogen, methanol, ethanol, propane, and natural gas to battery electric, gasoline-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid, […]

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The 40 MPG Benchmark

A line has been drawn in the sand. It’s a new standard that is pushing automakers to higher levels of fuel efficiency. That threshold is 40 mpg. Not long ago, a 40 mpg car was a rarity. Reaching 40 mpg required alternative powertrains like gasoline-electric hybrid drive or clean diesel. Today, 40 mpg is being […]

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Southern California is Leading the Way for NGVs

I am excited to update you on the recent progress that we’re making at Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) in the compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle market. This technology is here now, and the future is bright! I’m extremely bullish about natural gas as a transportation fuel. […]

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It's Time for Another Look at Feebates

A common refrain in recent years has been that, while there are many fuel-efficient models on the market, most consumers persist in their love of gas guzzlers. Once manufacturers are making a full range of appealing high-mpg vehicles so that everyone can choose efficiency without compromising other features they’re seeking, things will change. We’ll see […]

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‘Fast’ is in the Eye of the Beholder

I am a car guy and can attest to this: It is thrilling to go fast. And it’s also exciting to see a fuel economy display hit 50+ mpg. Similar feelings are experienced when behind the wheel of a truly stylish car, when a favorite song pops up unexpectedly on Sirius XM, or when deplaning […]

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Plugged In, Charged Up, Ready to Roll

The mission was simple enough: drive to my daughter’s college 90 miles away and return her and a sizeable load of laundry home for a long weekend visit. It was a perfect test for the long-range capability of the Prius Plug-In hybrid I was driving for the week. With a full charge in the lithium-ion […]

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Envision Mobility with Futurama 2032

As we look at the connected issues of sprawl, traffic congestion, air pollution, societal disconnection, and global warming, we begin to see that a new model and vision for our communities and mobility is needed. One such vision was put forth in 1939 at the World’s Fair in New York. Futurama was an exhibit designed […]

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