We're Gonna Rock Down to Electric Avenue
Against automakers’ objections, the California Air Resources Board on Friday voted unanimously to stick with a rule requiring that 10 percent of the cars offered for sale in the state in 2003 emit little or no pollution. CARB estimates that the rule will prompt automakers to put 22,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on the market in 2003, 10 times more than are now on the road. The decision has implications for other states, too, as Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont are following California’s lead on the issue. Automakers contend that the 2003 goal is unreachable because EVs are too expensive, costing as much as $20,000 more than equivalent gasoline-powered vehicles, and that consumers won’t buy cars that can travel only 100 miles before needing a recharge. The CARB staff will consider options such as subsidies to make the EVs more affordable.