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Greg Rucks



  • Mobility Transformation

Greg Rucks is a Principal in RMI’s Transportation Practice and is currently managing a multi-year partnership with the Austin community to develop and implement technology and world-class solutions for transforming mobility: enhancing transit information, offering a wider variety of cost-effective, convenient, and tech-enabled commuter options, enabling mobility-oriented land use and city development, and ultimately shifting from a fossil-fueled, personal-vehicle-based mobility system toward one defined by fully autonomous, electrified, on-demand mobility. With an eye on replicability, Greg is also helping scale solutions from Austin to other global cities, starting with Denver, which will also share leading edge solutions with Austin.

Since joining RMI in December 2010, Greg coauthored the transportation chapter of Reinventing Fire (a comprehensive roadmap for transitioning the U.S. off of coal and oil by 2050 and natural gas soon thereafter), led a commercialization effort focused on lightweight-vehicle design and development that has since been funded by the Department of Energy (RMI’s Autocomposites Project), and participated in initiatives and client-collaboration projects across RMI’s practice areas, including efficient-electric-vehicle design for a German automaker, a deep building retrofit for a national retail headquarters in New York, whole-system industrial process design for a European energy major, a comprehensive community greenhouse-gas reduction strategy for the City of Fort Collins, a cost-reduction strategy for installation of rooftop solar in the U.S., and economic deployment of distributed energy resources through his work with RMI’s Electricity Innovation Lab (eLab).


Prior to joining RMI, Greg completed a CUSO-VSO volunteer placement in northern Ghana to improve agricultural yields and harvest efficiency among subsistence farmers. At Columbia University he teamed with the Earth Institute on an initiative to supply solar power and multi-use vehicles to a village in eastern Kenya. During Greg’s four-year tenure with The Boeing Company, he co-founded and led the 787 Optimization Center, a collaborative resource center and cross-functional engineering team delivering lightweight design solutions for the 787.


Bachelor of English Literature, Colorado College, Phi Beta Kappa, 2001
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma, 2004


Basalt, CO

Authored Blog Posts

How the U.S. Transportation System Can Save $1 Trillion, 2 Billion Barrels of Oil, and 1 Gigaton of Carbon Emissions Annually

In the United States each year, our cars alone cost us well over $1 trillion, burn about 2 billion barrels of oil, and emit about 1.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide—one quarter of all U.S. emissions. The indirect societal cost of these vehicles, including pollution, lost productivity (sitting in traffic), land…

As far back as the 1973 Arab oil embargo, natural gas has been considered as a transportation fuel—and understandably so since it burns cleaner than oil. A recent boom in domestic production offers tantalizingly low prices and the potential to ease U.S. dependence on foreign oil. However, like any alternative…

According to AAA, an estimated 5.6 million Americans took to the skies this past year-end holiday season, defined as the 12-day period lasting December 22 through January 1. But unless you were flying into or out of a major hub, you probably weren’t rejoicing that you had a…

RMI Answers Your Questions: Autocomposites

On Thursday, February 7, RMI hosted a Google Hangout focused on lightweight, ultra-strong carbon fiber composites as a key enabler of dramatically increased fuel efficiency and vehicle electrification. Today Greg Rucks, RMI consultant, answers your questions from the Hangout.

Lightweighting a Key To DOE’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge

In March 2012 President Obama announced a “B-HAG” (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for U.S. electric vehicle adoption: enable U.S. companies to produce plug-in electric vehicles that are as affordable and convenient as today’s gas-powered vehicles by 2022.

How big data drives intelligent transportation

Originally published at America has been built and shaped by its ability to move people and goods freely and quickly, fueled by oil. But this “freedom” comes at a cost. Transportation is America’s number-two consumer cost after housing. American drivers pay $8,000 a year for an auto they drive only 4 percent of the time.

Fleets and Natural Gas: A Good Match (Part 2)

(Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series examining vehicles powered by natural gas.) The value proposition of natural gas vehicles varies widely by application. Fleets with high utilization and poor gas mileage, for example, can reap significant near-term value from the switch to natural gas.

Cool Solutions for Hot Cars

On this first day of summer, many car owners are likely to experience the following scenario: enter your car to leave work for the day and the temperature is sweltering—much hotter than outside. The ignition, steering wheel, and seat surface are almost too hot to touch.

Bells and Whistles Won’t Unlock Cost-Effective Auto Efficiency

As the New York auto show continues this week, Rocky Mountain Institute is encouraged by a growing number of efficient and electric models being introduced by automakers. But today's “bells-and-whistles” approach to achieving better fuel economy is not enough to cost-effectively unlock the full efficiency potential of electric vehicles.

3 Disruptive Lessons Automakers Should Learn for Greater Efficiency

Originally published at on February 13 as the second of a five-part series by RMI professionals on how to put into practice the ideas of Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for a New Energy Era. The series continues at each of the next two Mondays, and will be reposted on’s Outlet on subsequent Fridays.

Live Chat on Transportation: How to Share Cars and Reduce Driving

On Maui, where rainfall continuously shapes volcanic formations into deeply incised valleys and green, steep-sided ravines, coastal roadways are often obstructed by mudslides. Locals have devised a workaround: Drivers on opposite sides of the slide will wade through the mud and swap cars, agreeing to return to the same spot after the slide is cleared and swap back.