California may change regulations that have supported electric vehicles

October 23, 2014 0 By Stephen Vagus

State agency is considering softening emissions regulations targeting the transportation sector

The California Air Resources Board is set to hold a hearing concerning the softening of emissions regulations in the state. The hearing could create some problems concerning the state’s clean transportation plans. California is currently considered one of the most active and attractive markets for clean vehicles and this has to do with state regulations concerning emissions. The California Zero Emission Vehicle mandate requires automakers to sell a certain percentage of clean vehicles in the state, and this initiative was born from California’s relatively aggressive emissions regulations.

Regulations continue to focus on emissions reduction

The state has targeted the transportation sector as one of the greatest producers of harmful emissions. In order to become more environmentally friendly, California has adopted various regulations designed to police the production of harmful emissions. These regulations promote electric vehicles and other low emission vehicles as environmentally friendly alternatives to their traditional counterparts.

Current regulations require automakers to produce and sell a certain number of electric and hybrid vehicles

Electric Vehicles - CaliforniaUnder the state’s current regulations, automakers that produce and sell more than 10,000 vehicles must earn a set number of emissions credits in order to continue selling vehicles in California. These credits can be purchased from the state directly or earned by the sale of electric vehicles, hybrids, and eventually fuel cell vehicles. The state’s emissions regulations have resulted in a spike in the availability of clean vehicles, but there are some concerns that intermediate volume manufacturers, such as Mitsubishi and Subaru, are having trouble complying with the regulations.

Smaller manufacturers may have to exit the state market because their production levels are not high enough

The California Air Resources Board is considering allowing intermediate volume manufacturers to obtain emissions credits through the Transitional Zero-Emission Vehicles initiative. This means that smaller automakers will be able to obtain credits by producing a lower number of clean vehicles than their counterparts. If these automakers continue to be held to the state’s mandate, they may have to exit the market in the relatively near future because they cannot produce and sell a high number of electric vehicles or hybrids.

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