We’re Not Gonna Rock Down to Electric Avenue
The electric car could soon go the way of the dodo, as California moves toward eliminating a rule first approved in 1990 to force automakers to sell a fixed number of electric cars in the state. The proposed changes to the zero-emissions-vehicle rule would allow car manufacturers to earn credits for low-emissions hybrid vehicles, instead of only for electric cars. The changes amount to an acknowledgement that hybrids are more economical and more appealing to customers than electric vehicles. When it comes to cars, as California goes, so goes the nation, so the policy change could sound the death knell for the electric-car market. Meanwhile, Shell announced plans to unveil the nation’s first hydrogen fuel-pump at a gas station, in Washington, D.C. The pump will provide fuel for six experimental General Motors fuel-cell minivans that will be loaned out for test-driving, especially to denizens of Capitol Hill. Critics say the cars are a way for automakers to make a good impression on politicians without making any real changes to U.S. vehicle production.