Tuesday, April 16, 2013

California Air Board Tells Auto Lobby To Back Off Zero Emissions Fight

The head of the California Air Resources Board on Tuesday called for two automotive lobbying groups to rescind their petitions asking the Environmental Protection Agency to reassess California's zero-emissions vehicle requirements.

Mary Nichols, in a speech to kick off the Society of Automotive Engineers 2013 World Congress, said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Association of Global Automakers, which last month filed a petition in an effort to fight California's ZEV sales requirements, should for the betterment of the industry stop their petition.

"We don't have time to delay the infusion of these technologies," Nichols said.

Automakers are dealing with strict federal fuel efficiency standards; the fleetwide average by 2025 must be at least 54.5 miles per gallon under Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations. California has a set of separate rules and the AAM and AGA believe it highly unlikely that consumers will buy enough zero-emission vehicles to meet California's mandate.

California says that zero-emission or plug-in hybrid vehicles will account for one in seven new cars sold in California in 2025 — or 15.4 percent. More than 1.4 million zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles will be on the road in California by 2025.

In 14 years, California says there will be 1.4 million EVs or plug-in hybrids on its roads. Of those, California says there will be 500,000 fuel-cell or pure electric vehicles on the roads. The Air Resources Board expects that nearly 100 percent of all cars sold in the Golden State will be zero-emission vehicles by 2040 under its rules. (The Detroit News, 4/16/2013)

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