California's regulators will decide in the coming months whether to back away from their requirement that by 2003, 10% of all cars and light trucks sold in the state be zero-emission vehicles. That would translate into approximately 22,000 battery-powered electric vehicles each year. The mandate, which has been postponed and watered down since it was issued in 1990, is expected to be a highly contentious regulatory issue. The auto industry argues that few consumers want battery-powered cars, while environmentalists contend that auto makers are not marketing the vehicles aggressively enough. Only 3,300 battery-powered electric cars were sold in the United States between 1996 and 1999. This article examines why consumers continue to shun battery-driven electric cars and why the outlook for them remains so cloudy. Auto makers are increasingly favoring hybrid engines, which combine a traditional gasoline-powered engine with an auxiliary electric motor. While California regulators are reluctant to do away with the zero-emission vehicle mandate entirely, they are likely to tone it down further by letting auto makers substitute more consumer-friendly hybrids that run on gasoline and whose electric motors recharge automatically during driving.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This article was excerpted from "The Wall Street Journal."
  • Corporate Authors:

    Urban Mobility Corporation

    1634 I Street, NW, Suite 500
    Washington, DC  United States  20006-4003
  • Authors:
    • Welsh, J
  • Publication Date: 2000-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 2 p.
  • Serial:
    • Innovation Briefs
    • Volume: 11
    • Issue Number: 4
    • Publisher: Urban Mobility Corporation
    • ISSN: 1071-393X

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00795740
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 27 2000 12:00AM