A REQUIEM FOR ELECTRIC CARS
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.
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- This article was excerpted from "The Wall Street Journal."
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- Welsh, J
- Publication Date: 2000-7
- Pagination: 2 p.
- Innovation Briefs
- Volume: 11
- Issue Number: 4
- Publisher: Urban Mobility Corporation
- ISSN: 1071-393X
- TRT Terms: Air pollution; Automobile industry; Automobiles; Battery chargers; Consumer behavior; Consumer preferences; Electric automobiles; Electric batteries; Electric trucks; Environmental policy; Environmental protection; Exhaust gases; Gasoline engines; Hybrid automobiles; Hybrid vehicles; Light trucks; Pollutants; Regulatory reform; State laws; Zero emission vehicles
- Geographic Terms: California
- Subject Areas: Energy; Environment; Highways; Law; Policy; Vehicles and Equipment; I10: Economics and Administration;
- Accession Number: 00795740
- Record Type: Publication
- Files: TRIS
- Created Date: Jul 27 2000 12:00AM