Archive Tag: Air Quality

Out of concern for the public health and climate change impacts of drayage trucks, the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach set a joint goal to transition the ports’ drayage trucks– which move cargo to train yards, warehouses and distribution centers – to 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035. But a new UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI) report advocates for “an accelerated transition starting in the 2020s” because it “could be both feasible and advantageous.”

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Increasing the number of electric vehicles is key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality in L.A. and other cities. A recent paper published in Environmental Research Letter by Deepak Rajagopal (associate professor in the Institute of Environment and Sustainability at UCLA) and Amol Phadke (Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories) argues that policymakers could expand the climate benefits of electric vehicles by directing government subsidies toward the cars that spend the most time on the road – such as taxis, and vehicles used for Uber and Lyft.

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Yifang Zhu, a professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, was quoted in a Time Magazine article about avoiding dangerous levels of pollution while driving. To decrease pollution exposure during long commutes, Zhu recommends changing out a car’s cabin filter every six months to a year and switching on the A/C’s “air recirculation” function. “This shuts down the air exchange between the inside of the vehicle and the outside, and instead uses recirculated air,” she said.

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In late July, California reached an agreement with four automakers—Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW—to continue increasing the fuel efficiency of their vehicle fleets by 3.7 percent annually from 2022 to 2026. The new agreement, which was negotiated by the California Air and Resource Board, presents a direct challenge to the Trump Administration’s attempts to weaken vehicle emission standards nationally. Following the announcement, UCLA faculty provided expert legal analysis on the agreement in several media stories.

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