As sales of EVs are tallied-up, keep one thing in mind: Many are not meant to be sold in earnest. “They’re only built to meet California regulations for zero-emission vehicles–which is why they’re called “compliance cars,” says Green Car Reports. The green blog separated the “real” EVs from the compliance chariots.
Green Car Reports found only four EVs which their manufacturers really want to sell in appreciable quantities:
- 2012 Nissan Leaf
- 2012 Mitsubishi ‘i’
- 2012 Coda Sedan
- 2012 Tesla Model S
Most other Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) announced for 2012 through 2014 are only “compliance cars,” says Green Car Reports. Here is a list of EVs which don’t have the hearts of the manufacturers behind them:
- Chevrolet Spark EV
- Fiat 500 Elettrica
- Ford Focus Electric
- Honda Fit EV
- Toyota RAV4 EV
Why do carmakers make cars they don’t really want to sell? California requires that carmakers of a certain size show that at least a small portion of their volume comes from zero-emission vehicles–either battery electric cars or fuel-cell electric vehicles. Cars like the Chevrolet Volt , the Fisker Karma, or the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid don’t count as pure ZEV in CA. They have gasoline engines as well as plugs. However, plug-in hybrids with partial electric range help off-set a lack of ZEVs.
In the first round, only carmakers with high California sales have to worry: Toyota, Honda, GM, Ford, Nissan, and Chrysler.