California Wants One in Seven New Cars to Plug In By 2025

The California Air Resources Board has released a new plan seeking to make nearly 100 percent of new autos sold in the state zero-emission (ZEV) or plug-in hybrid (AT-PEZ) vehicles by 2040. In the meantime, California may seek to set regulations mandating that one-seventh of all new light duty vehicles sold there carry at least plug-in hybrid electric drive capabilities. If the scheme is enacted, automakers would be forced to increase the portion of plug-in vehicles in their fleets between model years 2018-2025, culminating in a 15.4 percent mandate by the final year of the rule.

The new proposed rules will no longer exempt carmakers with fewer California sales like Volkswagen, BMW and Hyundai from the ZEV program, but would allow such companies to offset a portion of the requirement by over-complying with the overall emissions mandate.

CARB is well known for blazing its own trails when it comes to setting motor vehicle emissions standards. In 2009, California won the right to regulate emissions for cars sold within its borders after a years-long battle with the federal government, which under the Bush administration had sought to protect its status as the nation’s sole fuel economy regulator.

The state’s original Zero-Emissions Vehicle law, which went into effect in 1997, is largely credited with forcing automakers to release the first wave of modern electric vehicles in the United States, including GM’s EV1 and the original Toyota RAV4 EV. Some also believe that the new RAV4 EV and several other forthcoming limited-run plug-ins from carmakers without a full-scale electric vehicle program exist at least partially to satisfy the ZEV law.


  • MrEnergyCzar

    I’m sure the various interests against fuel efficient cars will put up quite a fight. The RAV4 EV would be great if it was 4 wheel drive. For some reason it’s not, at least initially…..

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Van

    Here we see the Liberals mandating what the market should decide. If the best car overall is a plug-in, plug-in sales will soar.

    Also note we are still waiting for technological advancement to provide a powerful enough battery, i.e. 2 to 4 times more powerful than the first generation lithium batteries in EV’s now, to make Plug-ins the best value.

    A Plug in EV with less than 42 KWh of capacity is a joke. Range needs to be near 130 miles, rain or shine.

    A Plug in Hybrid needs to have at least 12 KWh of EV mode range, i.e 40 miles or so.

    Such cars are on the horizon but to pass a law and treat the car buying public as slaves is mandated misery.

  • Charles

    So let the invisible hand of the free market work its magic, you say. Well the free hand is a very selfish being. It looks out only for itself and usually is very short sighted. Government on the other hand is supposed to look out for the general good and be far sighted (not that it does its job all that well). In a warped market such as cars, you have the problem that cars cause a general harm (pollution) and have a societal cost (roads and other infrastructure) that is not reflected in their cost (at least in the USA). It is therefore necessary for the government to step into the market and warp it even more. If you want to un-warp the market by taxing cars what they cost society, then I would not mind getting rid of CAFE and other mandates. The un-warp solution seems impossible for the USA, as we have developed a society that needs the car to function and lack the courage to change.

  • Van

    Hi Charles, nice to see you have considered the matter. Here is my take:

    The so called “invisible hand” reflects the judgment of people. In the past some scoffed at this but in today’s smart phone, Google search, and social network world, these folks can run circles around the plodding bureaucrats and Government regulators.

    Slavery is where those with power compel those without power to do their bidding. Why not rely of truth and information? If you consider the Soviet economic model, we saw lip service toward the common good, but selfish corruption ran the place. Why give the “me monster” that lives within us a bigger club?

    Plug-ins pollute less than fossil fuel burners because (1) a significant fraction of electricity comes from non-fossil fuel energy, and (2) they do not burn fuel when idling and operate more efficiently in stop and go conditions.

  • Shine

    I would want to have one of those too. :)
    eminent domain attorney

  • tapra1

    its borders after a years-long battle with the federal government, which under the Bush administration had sought to protect its status as the nation’s sole fuel economy regulator.Enter Technology