Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Reveals Details of Proposed Fair Market Test

January 17, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Washington, DC) have revealed details of its proposal for a Fair Market Test to determine whether a sustainable consumer market exists for battery-powered EVs at volumes required by the California's Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is set to hold a hearing on proposed changes to the ZEV mandate on January 25, 2001.

The proposed Fair Market Test would attempt to determine market demand for EVs. Josephine S. Cooper, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, stated, “The Fair Market Test is a common-sense way of showing if there is consumer demand for EVs. Everyone, including regulators, agrees that California's ZEV mandate presents enormous challenges, and one of the most difficult is low customer demand for electric vehicles. The Fair Market Test would resolve the debate over consumer demand once and for all."

The Fair Market Test outlined by the Alliance would be conducted through existing dealerships over a specified time period beginning in 2003. It would be administered by a foundation composed of diverse interests, including representatives of ARB, environmental groups, auto manufacturers, dealers, battery suppliers and the motoring public. In addition, large automobile manufacturers would provide a mix of about 2,500 EVs for sale or lease in the Los Angeles area. This mix could include 500 full-function EVs, 750 city EVs and 1,250 neighborhood EVs.

Under the Fair Market Test, the current ZEV regulation would be amended to defer its effective date while the test is conducted. As required by California law, the final decision regarding the Fair Market Test's success would be made by ARB.