California Considers Proposal to Decrease ZEV Mandate
California officials announced that they are considering decreasing the number of zero-emission, battery-powered vehicles the state will mandate on its roads in coming years.
The California Air Resources Board (Sacramento, CA) met to consider a proposal to decrease to two percent the number of ZEV-mandated cars sold in California by 2003, down from a 10-percent goal set a decade ago.
Board officials say the sharply lower draft goals for electric cars reflect changes in automotive technology since 1991 that have made battery-powered electric cars the most expensive and least practical alternative for cutting auto smog. However, supporters of ZEVs say that by relaxing its commitment, California may be crushing all hope of seeing electric cars in the state. Officials in Massachusetts, Vermont and New York are waiting for a sign from California before establishing their own zero-emissions regulations.
“This is very important, and a lot of people in other states and the industry will be watching closely," said Kevin Finney, a spokesman for the Los Angeles-based Coalition for Clean Air.