Environmental News

Report: Increase in oil prices likely to encourage electrification

A new report from Green Car Reports argues that if oil prices were to rise to $150 by 2020, a new era of automobile electrification is likely to follow. Oil prices currently sit around $70/barrel, and if they more than double to the $150 predicted by Bernstein Research, it is likely consumer demand would drive automakers to augment their electrified…

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Law to require HEVs and EVs to make noise by 2020

A new rule in the United States will require all hybrid and electric vehicles to emit a noise when operating below 18.6mph. The purpose of the noise is to warn pedestrians (and animals) of the otherwise-quiet vehicle’s approach. The rule was initially proposed in 2010, but has faced delays for the last eight years. Automakers must have fifty percent of…

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Hybrids, PHEVs offer best cost to emissions avoidance ratio

A new study in Environmental Science & Technology found that of 2015 and 2025-2030 models, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles provided the best cost to carbon emissions avoidance ratio, as compared to battery electric and other vehicles. The study, performed by the US DOE in conjunction with automakers and national laboratories, took a full life-cycle approach to the study, evaluating…

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California provides unlimited HOV access to plug-in hybrids

California owners of plug-in hybrids received good news this week: they can now travel solo on HOV lanes without restriction. HybridCars.com reports that the state will allow an unlimited number of plug-in hybrid owners to receive the coveted “green stickers” that provide access to the HOV lanes. The incentive program, designed to promote the use of eco-friendly vehicles, is set to…

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Bloomberg: How China’s Dirty Cities Are Reshaping Car Design Across World

Bloomberg reports that China’s air pollution crisis is leading to new fuel efficiency standards that are influencing automakers in Beijing and around the world. “In response to government rules and incentives that have spurred electric-car sales in China,” Bloomberg reports, “automakers are beefing up their global electric-vehicle and plug-in offerings.” “Decisions made in Beijing already are affecting cars people drive…

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Study: Consumers Still Want Better Gas Mileage

Edmunds.com reports that smart car shoppers still want higher-mileage vehicles despite low gas prices, according to a new national survey by the Consumer Federation of America. The survey found that consumers expect the national gasoline price to rise by almost 50 percent in the next two years. And they have incorporated this expectation into their next vehicle purchase. “More than 86 percent say…

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Why low gas prices make this a great time to buy a hybrid

Gas prices are falling. So, too, is the cost of many hybrid cars. “Fuel savings are not top of mind to many consumers right now, and that makes this a great time to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle,” said John Krafcik, president of TrueCar. “With gasoline prices now averaging just $2.10 per gallon, and vehicle preferences tied so closely…

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Fuel economy remains an important consideration for car buyers

A new study from J.D. Power found that fuel economy remains the most influential factor among a majority of car shoppers. “Consumers know that, although gas prices are low today, the cost of fuel will likely increase during the time they own their vehicle,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. “Clearly, consumers are considering…

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Despite drop in gas prices, car buyers still focused on mileage

Despite the recent plunge in gas prices, fuel economy remains the key factor most motorists consider when buying a new vehicle, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates. According to the 2015 study, 14% of shoppers ranked mileage as number one on the list of why they bought a particular vehicle, while 16% said they rejected a vehicle because of…

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2104 Ranks As The Warmest Year Ever

In case you were looking for another reason to consider an environmentally-friendly hybrid vehicle, The Wall Street Journal reports that 2014 was the world’s warmest, continuing a trend that has nine of the 10 warmest years on record occurring in the 21st century. Scientists attribute the warming temperatures to rising concentrations of carbon dioxide, soot and other greenhouse gases in the…

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