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Low Carbon Fuels: Transforming Transportation for a More Sustainable Future


Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide can trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere. This can lead to extreme weather, such as hurricanes, droughts, and increased wildfires, leaving vulnerable communities with destroyed infrastructure, lower health outcomes, billions of dollars in damages, and instability.

The number-one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is transportation. One of the ways we can reduce emissions is by using low carbon fuels to power our cars, trucks, planes, delivery vans, and other vehicles.

Low carbon fuels are transportation fuels that release less carbon dioxide into the air when burned than traditional fuels like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. One example of a low carbon fuel is electricity, which can power electric vehicles and hybrids.  But electricity is not the only example. There are many options, including ethanol and biodiesel, which can fuel the millions of gas-powered vehicles already on the road today, and hydrogen, which requires new vehicle technology.

Consumer Reports is taking a close look at low carbon fuels — or LCFs, as some people like to call them.  This online hub provides information about the different types of LCFs and the kinds of vehicles and technologies that can use these fuels.  We explore how we can shape policies to make these fuels better for consumers and easier to adopt. You’ll find survey data, fact sheets, white papers, and more content about LCFs and how they could be a solution for a more sustainable transportation future.

Watch video in Spanish: ¿Qué Son Los Combustibles Bajos En Carbono?


Consumer Reports Low Carbon Fuels White Paper

To reduce overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we must use a variety of tools to help bring cleaner technologies to the market. This white paper provides information about low carbon fuels (LCFs) and comparisons of the carbon dioxide reduction for different types of LCFs — both commercial fuels and others under development.  It also provides broad policy principles for low carbon fuel standards. Read CR’s report on low carbon fuels and policy principle recommendations for a cleaner future. 

Consumer Reports Low Carbon Fuels Survey

In January and February 2022, Consumer Reports conducted a nationally representative multi-mode survey. The purpose of the survey was to gauge Americans’ perspectives and concerns regarding the transportation industry’s impact on the environment and their willingness to make environmentally-friendly transportation choices. The survey assessed Americans’ awareness about and desire to use low carbon fuel in vehicles and aviation when they become available. View CR’s survey findings.

Consumer Reports Low Carbon Fuels Fact Sheets

There’s a lot of conversation today about the need for “cleaner transportation” in the United States. That’s because transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mostly from burning gasoline for our cars and light trucks. Low carbon fuels (LCFs) are transportation fuels that produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional fuels like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Learn more about what LCFs are, how consumers can use them to significantly reduce emissions, and how policies can be used to make them more accessible:

Consumer Reports Low Carbon Fuels Webinars

“Cleaner Transportation: EVs, Low Carbon Fuels, and Beyond” Webinar

Consumer Reports invited consumers for a discussion on the future of cleaner transportation. Topics included the prospects for low carbon fuels that can power everything from cars to airplanes and cargo ships today to the growing number of electric and hybrid vehicles on our roads. Watch and share CR’s webinar.

“Cleaner Fuels For A Cleaner Future” Webinar

Transportation is the top contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. But what can consumers do to help reduce vehicle emissions? Are there options beyond buying electric vehicles?

In this webinar Consumer Reports experts discuss cleaner ways to power our vehicles. Learn about actions at the state and federal levels to invest in cleaner technologies like biofuels, hydrogen and electricity. These new efforts will help drive innovation, cut carbon emissions, and protect consumers’ wallets from spiraling gas prices. It’s time to transition away from gasoline and diesel, and invest in low-carbon fuel options.