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The Advanced Clean Car program, which aims to put 1.4 million electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles on California roads by 2025

California is pushing the envelope with electric vehicles after a state board voted and approved a program that would require 15.4 percent of new autos sold in the sunshine state to be environmentally friendly by 2025.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) had a two-day meeting last week where it approved the Advanced Clean Car program, which aims to put 1.4 million electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles on California roads by 2025. It also plans to develop an infrastructure for hydrogen refueling stations, and will reduce smog-forming emissions and greenhouse gases.

Automakers, such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Nissan Motor Co. and Chrysler Group, have supported California's latest green effort. However, pure electric vehicles like Nissan's Leaf would be favored over plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt, which is classified as a "transitional zero-emission vehicle" because it still features a gasoline-powered motor.

"Probably the most heartening aspect of this whole rulemaking was the level of cooperation that we received from the industry," said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board. "Overall, the degree of support for the package was just extraordinary."

While automakers are onboard with the idea, dealerships have made it clear that they are not. The reason for this is because the demand for electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles has not been as high as expected. The California New Car Dealers Association as well as the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers are just a couple of groups protesting the new program.

"We think it's a disconnect with the marketplace," said Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "Automakers have invested literally billions of dollars in these technologies, so we have a real stake in trying to sell as many as possible. But no one knows what that number is going to be. And it doesn't help anyone if those cars sit on lots unsold."

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers' complaint echoes those of some Chevrolet dealerships in the United States, who recently turned down Volts that GM wants to send them. They partially rejected the Volts due to recent concerns with battery fires, which were taken care of in a recall earlier this month, but also because of low demand for such vehicles.

"[GM's] thinking we need six more Volts is just crazy," said Brett Hedrick, dealer principal at Hedrick's Chevrolet in Clovis, California, which only sold 10 Volts in 2011 total. "We've never sold more than two in a month."

Despite objections, the California Air Resources Board has pushed the Advanced Clean Car program anyway. The plan hopes to accomplish the reduction of smog-forming emissions by 75 percent by 2025 and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from passenger vehicles by 34 percent between 2015 and 2025. Automakers will be required to begin selling more and more electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles in California starting in 2018 in order to reach the goal of 15.4 percent by 2025.

"That's actually a relatively modest goal, but that's all that we're mandating," said Nichols. "We expect to go beyond that with other incentives we are hoping to be able to offer in terms of direct incentives to people who buy these cars [like] rebates and credits."

California EV drivers have already begun to see some perks to driving environmentally friendly vehicles. Last November, GM announced a Low Emissions Package for Chevrolet Volt drivers in California. The package allows 2012 Volt drivers in the state to apply for a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) traffic lane sticker, which lets drivers bypass congested traffic, as well as a $1,500 rebate in addition to the $7,500 tax credit from the federal government.

Sources: The New York Times, Automotive News

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and if they dont sell that many??
By kattanna on 1/30/2012 10:57:22 AM , Rating: 4
and just what will happen if dealers cant sell that many?

this sounds like yet another toothless law designed more to showcase "greenness" of the politicians who made it

RE: and if they dont sell that many??
By Samus on 1/30/2012 11:07:49 AM , Rating: 4
are you joking? considering there are 700,000 Prius' registered in California (and nearly 3 million in the United States) it won't be hard to achieve 1.3 million models just like it with plug-in ability in the next *cough* 13 years.

This bill is a joke because it isn't pushing anything. That sales number is going to happen, anyway.

It's just a way of California appearing progressive or claiming to have the 'first bill of its kind' and when it is 'successful' in 2025 they'll call it just that.

By The Raven on 1/30/2012 11:38:26 AM , Rating: 2
My parents picked up a car in Oregon to avoid CA sales tax. Seems like the same thing could happen in this case. Then they will be sitting unsold in CA. Because pretty soon we will be buying our cars in Mexico ;-). Hell, more and more of them are assembled there anyway.

By GatoRat on 1/30/2012 11:39:55 AM , Rating: 2
The goals are stated ambiguously. It's not merely a matter of putting 1.4 million "green" cars on the road, but that 15.4% of NEW cars sold will have to be "green."

California does have the big advantage of moderate weather which doesn't make batteries ineffective.

What cracks me up, though, is how much Californians like big vehicles. About ten years ago, we vacationed through northern California. While driving from Sacramento to the Bay Area, I saw two compact cars and about as many mini-vans. Everyone was driving SUVs. I've honestly never seen a higher concentration of SUVs in any other state.

RE: and if they dont sell that many??
By SoCalBoomer on 1/30/2012 12:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
There are 25 million cars in California so 700K Prius' isn't even 5%, and according to analysis I've read, the present Prius wouldn't qualify for the future standard. In fact pretty much ALL the hybrids of today wouldn't qualify (most don't really give THAT much of an increase in MPG - around 10%).

It's a chicken/egg question. These are cars that, for the most part, people don't want and cost too much money. One reason is cost - they cost a significant amount more than an equivalent; and infrastructure. CARB wants electrics; but short range and a lack of infrastructure means people don't want them. How many Volts (Motor Trend's 2011 CotY) have been sold? Less than 22K world wide, I hear. Seriously? How many Leafs? Not much more. . .

Build us something we want and that we can afford and that will last. . .

Until then, I don't think the sales numbers will happen.

RE: and if they dont sell that many??
By autoboy on 1/30/2012 1:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
California likes to pass these laws and then nobody meets them and nothing happens. We've failed to meet the goals of the last two laws. This one will be no different. It's just more stuff for idle lawmakers to make them feel good about themselves.

Hybrid vehicles are getting pretty good and there is actually some profit to be made in them. Electric and plug ins are not profitable yet. Still, its stupid to mandate this on the supply side of things like they are trying to do, but other perks to efficient vehicles have been a big success like access to the Carpool lanes. When will lawmakers learn consumers will always do what is in their best self interest?

By Solandri on 1/30/2012 3:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
California likes to pass these laws and then nobody meets them and nothing happens. We've failed to meet the goals of the last two laws.

Just to back this up, this was tried in 1990, and was abandoned in 2001.

I suppose one of these days it'll work. But it won't really be because CARB was successful, it'll be more like the broken clock being right twice a day.

RE: and if they dont sell that many??
By Qapa on 1/30/2012 7:03:59 PM , Rating: 3
are YOU joking? Prius is NOT green, only a marketing gig.

- at least plugin hybrid like the Volt which allows (for some people) the commute to be done in part/all electric;
- or pure electric.

Also, this is about cars sold that year, not cars being driven.

But finally, they should mention how they expect to... "mandate" this...
"Mister, you're number 5342 in the waiting list.. were waiting for more people to buy green cars, until then we can't really sell any more cars..." LOL
"... but if you want to buy one of these, even if they're not useful for you, you can take them right now!" lol

Yet another...
By Ammohunt on 1/30/2012 1:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
reason not to live in California and more casuse for people participating in the current mass exodus from California to other states; hard to maintain state budgets when you are devoid of tax payers real smart moonbeam.

RE: Yet another...
By autoboy on 1/30/2012 1:42:20 PM , Rating: 2
This crap isn't causing any business to move out of California. This is just a distraction. It's the high taxation, high energy prices, high labor prices, and high property prices that are causing traditional businesses to leave. It's simple economics but I think Governor Moonbeam was high during that class.

RE: Yet another...
By Ringold on 1/30/2012 5:27:48 PM , Rating: 2
Another thing pushing businesses out is the hostile populace. Read in the Economist this past week about Long Beach and LA trying to streamline and boost their processing speed for container shipments so that the Panama Canal doesn't totally wreck them in terms of shipping to the East Coast. They wanted to build a near train terminal nearby, so trucks wouldn't have to spend so much time on congested highways. Environmentalists are tying it up in courts and with local politicians crying about bringing pollution to new communities. Insane.

Insane to a normal person, at least, but not to someone that understands these people just wish we could all live on organic farm communes, in harmony with nature, leaving all of civilization and probably 90% of humanity behind to rot. (Just dont take away their iPhones)

RE: Yet another...
By Dorkyman on 1/30/2012 9:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
There is a great deal of mass mental illness going around these days, which I define to be a kind of herd mentality based on illogical premises. The once-great state of California is Exhibit #1.

RE: Yet another...
By kattanna on 1/31/2012 10:05:14 AM , Rating: 2
every state has its own % of crazy people, and with california being the most populated, even if every state has the exact same % of crazies.. we still "win" LOL

RE: Yet another...
By Chaser on 1/31/2012 2:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
California is in a deep financial crisis and they reelect Jerry Brown as governor? And his inspiring proposal to combat the state's black hole spending deficit, what else? raising taxes. But when you are giving illegal aliens in- state college tuition discounts and 70% of the babies born in border close hospitals are "anchor babies", getting on the system, and state union employees get pensions greater than their salaries. Good luck. But not to worry. The Feds will continue to prop up the state by taking from more responsible state's taxpayers.

California IS a unique, wonderful state. Great to visit. Ever better to leave.

Where's the Natural Gas?
By DrizztVD on 1/30/2012 1:38:09 PM , Rating: 2
I've recently read an article on compressed natural gas vehicles. The article states that the conversion process just requires an adapted fuel feeding system, using the plain old IC engine. Furthermore, stated mileage costs come to a THIRD of the equivalent liquid fuel costs. Added to that, methane is the cleanest hydrocarbon available. Lastly, I've read reports of huge methane deposits under arctic ice, and elsewhere mind you.

So will someone please, for the love of sanity, explain to me why we aren't running CH4 vehicles in this day and age?

RE: Where's the Natural Gas?
By Just Tom on 1/30/2012 2:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
Becauase there is not a filling station on every corner offering CNG. Heck, there is not a CNG filling station in every county. There is also the not so minor problem that CNG fuel tanks take up substantially more space than gasoline tanks.

RE: Where's the Natural Gas?
By DrizztVD on 1/31/2012 6:57:21 AM , Rating: 2
Becauase there is not a filling station on every corner offering CNG

You do realize that's not an argument, right? Because the very reason that there aren't CNG filling stations is because people haven't created the demand for them. My main argument is one of: Why isn't there demand for CNG when it's the greenest, cheapest and at the same time convenient fuel around?

Gonna need more than rebates / incentives
By Concillian on 1/30/2012 12:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
Most of these are likely to be electric vehicles, but in CA, people are on tiered power plans. An electric vehicle will put them in the 3rd or 4th tier of power, which right now are ~30 cents and ~40 cents per kWh respectively.

Incentives and rebates can help justify the initial costs of an electric vehicle, but you have to do something about the tiered pricing structure that makes the power these electric vehicles consume cost 2.5-5 times more than any other state before they're seriously considered by anyone with half a brain.

CA is trying to be green on too many fronts. Tiered pricing on electricity is a way to push people into being efficient in their home, and a way to make solar panels attractive so citizens will patch up the power grid for the state, but it completely destroys any possibility of viability of EVs. CA needs to pick one of these fronts and stick to it. The state just makes itself look silly by endorsing two measures that clearly conflict with each other.

By Spuke on 1/30/2012 5:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
You can get reduced pricing by installing a second meter. Not cheap though and in some places, not allowed.

does the grid know?
By undummy on 1/30/2012 3:49:59 PM , Rating: 2

The last time that Cali tried forcing electric cars down the consumer's throat, they ended up with 'rolling blackouts'.

They will need to pass a law that says "If power is out and vehicles can't recharge, you can not get fired for not showing up to work".

RE: does the grid know?
By roadhog1974 on 1/31/2012 3:02:48 AM , Rating: 2
enrons dead.

By Pneumothorax on 1/30/2012 5:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
This UNELECTED group of idiots have had too much power and are one of the many reasons for this not-so business friendly state (Hint, it's 50th)

By astrodemoniac on 1/31/2012 9:56:53 AM , Rating: 2
But I want my next car in black :'-(

By Smilin on 1/31/2012 1:55:06 PM , Rating: 2
As a liberal (probably not..lets just say I'm *not* conservative) and big fan of alternative energy can I just say that this is stupid?

Why not mandate 3% of all buyers opt for an emmisions free flying unicorn? You can't make sales happen like this.

Illegal aliens
By moenkopi on 1/31/2012 9:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
How the he'll are you going to get all the illegal aliens to drive green cars when they can't even get green cards?

Illegal aliens
By moenkopi on 1/31/2012 9:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
How the hell are you going to get all the illegal aliens to drive green cars when they can't even get green cards?

By Beenthere on 1/30/2012 11:47:28 AM , Rating: 1
CA will reach their 2025 auto emissions goals by illegals riding bikes or driving unregistered autos...

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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