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The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Christopher Magee and his colleagues have developed a new method that could help provide insights into how quickly different innovations are improving, reports Christopher Mims for The Wall Street Journal.  Magee and former MIT fellow Anuraag Singh have developed a search engine that allows users to “answer in a fraction of a second the question of how quickly any given technology is advancing,” writes Mims.

INFORMS

Writing for INFORMS, Prof. Richard Larson honors and remembers those who served on 9/11 and those in public safety who have continued to serve. Larson notes that with over 50 years of contributions to urban public safety, those in operations research “can build on that strong foundation to create even better data-informed methods and procedures for public safety professionals to do their difficult work – effectively, efficiently, equitably and with minimal risk to both themselves and the citizens whom they serve.”

The Hill

Writing for The Hill, Prof. Sanjoy Mitter, Prof. Munther Dahleh, research affiliate Le Xie and their colleagues underscore the need to build a “resilient energy ‘superhighway,’ an electric grid that delivers a wide portfolio of energy supplies to the end users in a reliable manner.” They add that: “Investments are needed both in building the backbone interconnections, as well as in upgrading the ‘last mile’ distribution grid.”

Vox

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Vox contributor David Roberts about the various aspects involved with transforming our world in response to climate change. “There is so much potential, but we really need to be more deliberate about how we are thinking about technology and that means understanding what it is, how it evolves and how we can push it faster towards these beneficial solutions,” says Trancik of the transition to clean energy technologies.

The Interchange

On The Interchange podcast, Prof. Jessika Trancik discusses her research exploring the cost declines in lithium-ion batteries and what it will take to reach mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.

The Conversation

Writing for The Conversation, Prof. Jessika Trancik explores how government policies can spark innovation in clean energy markets, helping to reduce carbon emissions. “Left to its own devices, technological change will not necessarily solve climate change, especially not in the limited time we have left to act,” writes Trancik. “But my research on technology evolution suggests that government policy can help propel this powerful process toward rapid progress and beneficial outcomes.”

The Economist

A new study by Prof. Jessika Trancik and postdoctoral associate Micah Ziegler examining the plunge in lithium-ion battery costs finds that “every time output doubles, as it did five times between 2006 and 2016, battery prices fall by about a quarter,” reports The Economist. “A doubling in technological know-how, measured by patent filings, is associated with a 40% drop in price.”

BBC News

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with the BBC Newshour about her new study analyzing the dramatic decline in the costs of lithium-ion batteries. Trancik explains that the reduced price, “opens up markets for electric vehicles for more people. The battery makes up a substantial portion of the total cost of an electric vehicle and the fact that costs have fallen by 97% over the last few decades means that these cars are no longer just for the wealthy.”

GBH

"You remember when we go to election polls, the voting booth, during elections, we get a little sticker that says 'I Voted'" says Prof. Sinan Aral of a new study that finds hearing about people who have received the Covid-19 vaccine can increase vaccine acceptance rates. "You should think of this as a very similar type of strategy. The reason we get that sticker that says 'I Voted' is that social proof motivates people to join in. And so if we got a sticker or put out a video or put out a message that said, 'I got vaccinated,' it would have the same effect for the same reasons."

The Hill

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with The Hill reporter Rachel Frazin about her research that demonstrates people can save more than 30% in emissions by switching to electric vehicles. “One can see an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, even with today’s power grid and today’s power supply. It’s a really important step to electrify as many vehicles as possible, and quickly,” says Trancik. 

WBUR

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Jesse Remedios of WBUR about her new study that identifies locations where electric vehicle charging stations would have the most impact and help increase the adoption of electric vehicles. “It's important to make sure that chargers are placed where people can charge without having to delay their activities,” Trancik says. 

New York Times

New York Times reporter Brad Plumer spotlights a new study by Prof. Jessika Trancik that finds “new chargers on residential streets, as well as high-speed charging stations along highways, would go a long way to supporting an electric-vehicle boom.” 

Mashable

Mashable reporter Sasha Lekach spotlights a new study by MIT researchers that finds installing more charging stations close to residences and in locations that match where people naturally stop, would help increase usage of electric vehicles. The researchers found that “this helps to make charging more accessible while drivers are going about everyday activities.”

New York Times

MIT researchers have developed an online interactive tool aimed at helping consumers quantify the costs of buying an electric or gas-powered vehicle. The tool demonstrates how electric vehicles may initially be more expensive, but are often cheaper in the long-run, reports Veronica Penny for The New York Times. Prof. Jessika Trancik notes that she hopes the tool will “help people learn about how those upfront costs are spread over the lifetime of the car.”

Greentech Media

Writing for Greentech Media, Jason Deign spotlights a new study by Prof. Jessika Trancik that examines the rising costs of new nuclear plants. The researchers found that “the main reason for spiraling nuclear plant construction bills is soft costs, the indirect expenses related to activities such as engineering design, purchasing, planning, scheduling and — ironically — estimating and cost control.”