National Plug-In Day was an awesome experience! If you missed it, after you read this I doubt you miss the next one because it was AWESOME! Ok ok, I know you are thinking, “Icye, can you just tell me about it already ?”
On September 23rd, in our beautiful city, supporters and proud owners of plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars gathered to mark the progress and draw new fans to more energy efficient technology. National Plug-In Day featured vehicle test drives, opportunities to get involved with environmental justice movements and a chance just to have a flat out great time. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, great for family and mingling with new people. The bonus was that it just happen to have cleaner energy cars, scooters, motorcycles, bikes and even a converted Jeep Wrangler! That was the best part!
So why am I so excited about plugging it in? Because you save money! Granted, I am a college student, still I know my first purchased car will be a hybrid or EV. Plug in America says, “A plug-in car uses clean, affordable, domestic electricity for some or all of its energy. An all-electric vehicle (EV) stores all its energy in batteries. Plug-in hybrids (PHEV) store some energy in batteries, and have a gas engine to extend range. Conventional hybrids have batteries, but all their energy comes from gasoline. They cannot plug in to cleaner, cheaper, domestic power!”
Jealous yet?! Being able to see all the new technology and hearing about the new developments for future transportation was almost surreal. I enjoyed so much of my time there and it gave me so much joy in knowing that I was helping out in the growth of clean cars, as well as clean air. So now that you know the scoop, where will you be on National Plug-In Day next year?
– Icye Walker
Sierra Club Intern
Posted in Austin, Bikes, Clean Air, Electric Vehicles, Energy, Fuel Economy, In the News, Pollution, Transportation, Trucks
Tagged Austin, bikes, clean energy, fuel efficiency, Green Transportation, pollution
President Obama announced the first ever fuel efficiency standards for heavy duty trucks and buses today. In this joint DOT and EPA effort starting with trucks and buses in the 2014 model year, these new standards will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons.
In addition, EPA estimates the standards will improve air quality by reducing particulate matter and ozone, resulting in societal benefits ranging from about $1.3 billion to $4.2 billion in 2030.
Sierra Club Executive Michael Brune said, “Despite representing only 4 percent of all the vehicles on the road, the trucks covered by today’s announcement consume 20 percent of all on-road transportation fuel used each year, but have never been subject to federal fuel efficiency or carbon pollution standards.”
Heavy-duty vehicles account for 12 percent of all US oil consumption.
Semi trucks will be required to achieve up to approximately 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018.
Separate standards are required for gasoline-powered and diesel heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans. These vehicles will be required to achieve up to about 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018.
Delivery trucks, buses, and garbage trucks will be required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 percent by model year 2018.
A semi truck operator could pay for the technology upgrades in under a year and realize net savings of $73,000 through reduced fuel costs over the truck’s useful life.
These regulations will also create jobs. In a study commissioned by the Union of Concerned Scientists, standards nearly identical to the ones finalized today could lead to a net increase of 40,000 jobs economy-wide in 2020 and nearly 80,000 jobs in 2030. The study also noted that reduced cost in shipping could increase wages for workers in these sectors.