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NPR Features Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center Director Chris Gearhart

Sept. 30, 2016

National Public Radio (NPR) recently featured the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) Chris Gearhart, director of NREL's Transportation and Hydrogen Systems Center, in an interview on the affordability of low-emission vehicles.

"I come to work every day because I think that getting greenhouse gas emissions out of the transportation sector is one of the most important things that we can work on," Gearhart said, adding that despite many of the recent advancements in sustainable transportation, there is still a lot of work to do. In order to meet mid-century climate goals, he said, most Americans will need to transition to zero-emission cars.

Gearhart recently published a paper in MRS Energy & Sustainability that surveys key topics in research and development in the context of scientific, technological, and sociological complexities related to energy, the environment, and sustainability. His work assessed the potential that advances in internal combustion engines, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and battery electric vehicles could have to significantly decrease GHG emissions, paired with the adoption of alternative low-carbon energy sources and potential impacts of vehicle connectivity and automation.

NPR highlighted a recently published study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, reporting that low-emissions vehicles may actually be more affordable than conventional cars when all of the operating and maintenance costs are considered. Expressing appreciation for the study, Gearhart said that this kind of data reveals the impact that individual choices can have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions -- and meeting those mid-century goals.

For more, read the full article from NPR Morning Edition or hear the interview online.

—Wayne Hicks