By on June 3, 2014

2013 Fiat 500e Exterior-013

A coalition of eight states have adopted a plan to encourage automakers to help meet the target of 3.3 million ZEVs taking to the road as required by the Clean Air Act by 2025.

Automotive News reports the plan would include incentives and tax credits for those who buy ZEVs, as well as access to HOV lanes and preferred parking. However, the plan also includes measures such as streamlining building codes and liability insurance rules so commercial properties can provide charging infrastructure, and improved signage and payment systems for public charging stations.

The coalition — consisting of California, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont — may have a difficult time reaching its ZEV mandate of 15 percent of all vehicles sold by 2025, though. Currently, only Nissan is among the major automakers committed to building its share of the 3.3 million required by the Clean Air Act. The rest — including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, who hoped no actually bought a Fiat 500e because FCA would lose $14,000 on each one sold — see ZEVs as nothing more than compliance vehicles with limited market prospects. California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols begs to differ:

We’re coming to this collaboration as a way of helping companies. They’ve done a great job of producing great cars. We want them to succeed and want them to make money on this.

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48 Comments on “Coalition Of Eight Unveils Plan To Encourage ZEV Production...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    If they wanted companies to succeed they would get the heck out of their business.
    No sense in forcing manufacturers to make money-losing vehicles, if there’s a market, the builders will build, obviously these aren’t wanted.

    I just want to smack the guy(Edit; mary nichols) who made the quote about companies succeeding. Because forcing companies to lose millions in order to not be in trouble is a great way for a company to succeed.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      The concept is to create a profitable market for automakers that benefits the states. Governments have been doing this for centuries to promote the welfare of citizens.

      The same people who are so loud and whiny about government oversight of automakers were oddly silent when that same government prevented them from bankruptcy liquidation.

      There is a difference between smart government that leverages market-based principles vs. unproductive deregulation that only enables the rich to get richer, at the expense of the middle class.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        An automaker has no place worrying about the welfare of the people, their only concern should be profit. The fact that government officials are forcing automakers to build cars no one wants is evidence that body of government has way too much power.

        Who exactly are those people that are loud about govt oversight and silet about the automakers not facing the consequences of their actions. That’s practically an oxymoron, did you actually keep a straight face when you wrote that?

        The rich are getting richer due to this type of regulation, the rest of us hurt. Do you actually think the automaker doesn’t roll the millions lost into the cost of the vehicles people want?

        Thank you for that post, you really couldn’t have made it easier for the people here.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Leaving the anti-feminist diatribe alone, you make a grave error in assuming nobody WANTS a BEV. Considering how many BEVs are already sold despite their infancy in the current markets, it becomes quite obvious that there are people who DO want them. They offer advantages no ICE can provide; the most obvious being that you no longer have to pay $4/gallon for fuel–recharging cost is roughly 85% cheaper than fueling up and with some vehicles can be absolutely free–for a while.

          • 0 avatar
            DC Bruce

            For the kind of use to which the current BEVs are suited (bopping around town doing errands; perhaps a short commute), fuel cost savings, compared to a similar sized hybrid, are not particularly significant, as compared to the total cost of owning the car. A BEV is likely to get about 6,000 miles of use annually.

            Unfortunately, the excessive focus on fuel economy causes people to make some dumb decisions, in terms of economics, viz. diesel engines in smallish cars.

            Finally, there is the fact that the BEV is a more limited use vehicle than any ICE-powered vehicle. It is not going to be your only car; it’s going to be your second car. By contrast, as your only car, a Prius or a C-Max will do just fine.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Vulpine, apologies, people do buy them, so yes there is a market, I’m just against manufacturers being told that they need to build something in order to satisfy regulations.
            The EV/hybrid market has a small customer base but due to regulations a fairly wide selection of vehicles to choose from. Sergio of course is mad because he has to put out a vehicle in a market that is satisfied, there is no possibility FCA will make a profit on this generation 500. The fiat brand doesn’t even do well enough justify an electric vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Not necessarily true, Bruce. While you might be correct about the majority of them, even at 40 miles per day average commute, that adds up to 10,400 miles per year, not a mere 6,000. And some drive a lot more than a mere 40 miles. Some drive that and more one-way where I live. I put 160,000 miles on one car in a mere 6 years due to a long commute. A commute, by the way, that exceeded the range of even the Nissan Leaf on a daily basis. The cost savings in fuel alone would have paid for a complete replacement for the car I used at the time.

            Like another here, you’re overlooking the real capabilities of a BEV and where they’re going. We currently have one BEV that, while admittedly expensive up front, can more than handle almost anybody’s DAILY drive, though not necessarily their vacation trips as easily as some prefer.

            I’ve driven a Prius and while in its way it’s a nice vehicle, when the owner goes on vacation, he drives a Hyundai Sonata which is far more comfortable and gets just about the same (if not better) highway mileage.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Hummer: I do agree that forcing a manufacturer to make something they don’t WANT to make is wrong–the market itself should be allowed to encourage that. However…

            Certain organizations will and do go out of their way to prohibit any challenge to the status quo. While I agree that GM and Ford–yes, and even Fiat–don’t want to make a BEV or other ZEV, Tesla, for one, does and organizations like NADA are flat trying to prevent the sales of Tesla cars simply because they can’t make their own 10% or more off of them. Who cares that Tesla simply couldn’t afford to buy into the franchise system while they’re still trying to establish themselves as a brand, NADA dealers want their cut NOW. And honestly, I wouldn’t put it past the established OEMs to back that effort just to eliminate the competition (but I wouldn’t accuse them of it either without more evidence).

            There’s a reason all new auto brands in the US have failed since the ’60s; the established brands simply don’t want the competition.

        • 0 avatar
          alexndr333

          Hummer, with that kind of thinking, we’d get cars that don’t hold up, drive unsafely and pollute the environment. And we’re back to the 1950′s. Government regulations are largely a confirmation of what society is moving toward, but gives us all a legal push in that direction. And while Fiat moans about the 500E, GM quietly offers the Chevy Spark EV, and has announced that a second-generation battery for that limited-sale car will save over 80 pounds compared to the 2014 model. GM may hate producing the Spark EV and is only selling it in California and Oregon, but it is also selling it in overseas markets (probably at a loss). Yet, GM continues to invest in it – they see where the market is going, regardless of the government’s push.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I disagree, that kind of thinking got us from the early stages until at least mid 2000s for a few vehicles.
            Most very reliable efficient and for the most part the peak of cost effectiveness and reliability.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Remember what happened to the Tucker. The PTB did everything they could to kill that car before it could reach production–and succeeded. Interestingly, nearly everything safety-oriented proposed in that car in the ’50s is in our modern cars one way or another. For all that everyone is trying to kill the ZEVs now, their efforts alone make future ZEV’s almost a certainty.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Oh, and keep in mind Hummer, in the 8 states mentioned, it’s not considered manly to threaten women with violence.

      That guy who says he want to “smack” a female government official for doing her job? Yeah, that’s who you are.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I don’t care if its a he or a she, my point was the words coming out of their mouth was utterly stupid.

        Of course you would be worried about what is considered manly and well versed and at what lengths you can get away with female violence, explains a lot.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “That guy who says he want to “smack” a female government official for doing her job? Yeah, that’s who you are.”

        Women are people. You are an embarrassing troglodyte for thinking they’re not capable of being responsible for their actions.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Oddly, Hummer, only FCA is complaining about the cost of their BEV–and that is simply due to the fact that the Fiat 500e isn’t a purpose-designed BEV, it’s a simple modification of an existing platform. Meanwhile, FCA has pointed out that in order to meet CAFE regulations, they WILL need to manufacture hybrid vehicles almost exclusively as we are reaching the limits of ICE efficiency.

      Americans are unlike the vast majority of the world; for us our vehicles are an expression of our personalities and not so much “mere transportation”, as my father put it. Nearly every American drives the style of car or truck they want–regardless of actual need for that type or style. I’ll grant that Europe offers a huge variety of styles and sizes, but trucks equivalent to our pickup trucks are rare and the typical car gets by with much smaller engines than most of us are willing to accept. With that need for, as Jeremy Clarkson puts it, “POWERRRRRR!”, those sub-2-litre engines simply aren’t good enough for the average American. The only type of mobile drivetrain that can offer “POWERRRRR!” is electric, which generates its highest torque at low RPM, which is where most ICEs drink the most fuel.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It seems the Chinese are a step ahead. They’ve know where CAFE and the EPA are heading;)

    Here’s the spy photo of a 2030 Dodge Ram.

    http://www.diytrade.com/china/pd/5650757/Electric_Cargo_Tricycle_JB5KW_ZH_1.html

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Heh. That thing reminds me of the old Cushman 3-wheelers I used to drive at Combustion Engineering when they still built reactors and boilers for nuclear plants. In a lot of the world, those things are ideal for their agility and compact size. Here in the States? Not so much. Even a Polaris or John Deere ATV is a better choice, but they’re not highway-legal.

  • avatar
    bg

    Zero emissions at the tailpipe, but the energy has to be produced somewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I’ll go with ONUS’ reply to that, BG. Power plants, even coal plants, pollute less per capita than cars do per unit. Nuclear and hydroelectric don’t pollute at all–at least when it comes to carbon exhaust.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      In a mostly-coal city like Houston, driving an EV produces about as much emissions as a Prius.

      Coal has shrunk from around half of the national electric generation mix, to a bit over a third, and has largely been replaced by cheaper-for-now natural gas. An EV is now more of an emissions win in “average” cities than it was.

      And that’s before you get to the fact that an EV is agnostic about the source of the electricity (you can have a nuclear powered car is a solar powered car, depending on where you decide to plug it in), and the NIMBY benefits of not having to personally deal with gasoline. I own electric powered lawn equipment just because I don’t particularly like handling smelly/poisonous/volatile gasoline myself.

  • avatar
    Onus

    I’m Happy to see New England on board. As usual New Hampshire is the odd man out. They are an oddity for New England.

    We have had California Emissions for awhile here in New England. Minus New Hampshire, of course.

    I’d like to option of having more electric cars. Even if they are “compliance vehicles.”

    We also have the cleanest electrical generation for a region of the country.

    Electric cars aren’t clean. Thats where the mpge comes in handy. With power plants can maximize economy of scale. Plus combustion engines are horribly inefficient VE in the scheme of things. I imagine power plants even coal ones are much more efficient.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      If I’m not mistaken, you folks in New England buy a lot of hydro power from Quebec. So, that’s one way to be “clean.”

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        C’est tres menage!

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        We also have lots of Nuclear power. Dirty but in a different way.

        I know Vermont just signed a huge deal with Quebec Hydro since they are shutting down their 1 Nuclear Power plant which supplies most of the state with electricity.

        Here in CT we have a Nuclear plant, and i know there is a couple of Nat Gas plants that i know of off hand.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    While Tesla may be the smallest player in that field of ZEVs, I think it’s going to garner the biggest benefit. My wife already loves the Tesla Model S, and we live in one of the states in this coalition. Me? I’d like to wait and see what Tesla turns out as a pickup truck in 2020 or so.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Tesla is #2 in total sales, after Nissan. They are really the only meaningful players.

      Tesla could pass Nissan in a few years if Nissan doesn’t produce a longer-range vehicle soon.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Just another handout from our friends in government to their campaign bundlers. Billionaires like Musk get richer, the $300,000 a year types who buy his novelties get $10,000 purchase incentives and more freebies like dedicated lanes and free parking, the rest of us get to watch.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Preferred parking for ZEV’s? I’m sorry but ZEV’s are always small. I have a large car, I NEED somewhere to park it, obviously. You can park your tiny car anywhere!

    /hehe

    Also, they forgot to paint part of that Fiat, send it back to the factory.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I think the learned chair of CARB is mistaken and is a classic illustration of the perils of intrusive regulation. Step 1 is that CARB requires manufacturers, as a condition of selling “normal” cars in California, to offer for sale a certain number of “zero emissions vehicles” which should more appropriately be labeled “displaced emissions vehicles” since, even in California, much of the electricity that powers them is generated by fossil fuels, although out-of-state.

    Step 2 is that no one buys these vehicles, mostly because of their extremely limited utility.

    Step 3 is that, faced with manufacturer complaints about this mandate, the regulators try to fix the problem they have created (“we want you to make money selling these things, so you’ll stop your complaining”) by adding more regulation in the form of various kinds of cash and non-cash subsidies. Of course, the cash comes out of the taxpayers’ pocket, and California has the highest marginal income tax rate of any state.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      @DC Bruce – yes the “Zero Emissions” thing is a misnomer. Just because it doesn’t have a tailpipe doesn’t mean the electricity has been generated by rubbing a cat against a glass rod. (Heck even the cat wouldn’t be “zero emissions.”)

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Step 1: True.
      Step 2: False. At least one brand sells as many as they can make and make enough ‘profit’ from them to expand manufacturing capability and their product line.
      Step 3: Partially true; but not every state in the coalition has the same high taxes as California.

  • avatar
    Brian P

    1. Develop a cheap, small EV powered by a plain ordinary cheap lead-acid battery. It doesn’t matter how short the range is and it doesn’t matter if no one will want it. Only that it has to be (A) as cheap as possible, and (B) satisfy the regulatory requirements that a “car” must meet.

    2. Bump up the price of all the manufacturer’s luxury and sports vehicles by enough to cover the cost of the crap-box mentioned in step 1.

    3. If you purchase one of the luxury or sports vehicles, you must also purchase the EV. You cannot opt out of it. You must take it.

    4. Drive away in your sports car, send the EV to the recycling center.

    Done. Everyone’s happy except the end user who has to pay more.

    The reality might not be quite that extreme, but mark my words, this is more or less where this is headed if the government continues to force the issue.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Did you know that someone did almost exactly that with an old Land Rover. He stuck a 40hp electric motor in place of the old gasoline power plant and loaded the rest of the engine bay and back end with lead-acid batteries. Turned out that the now-BEV outperformed a diesel Isuzu Trooper in nearly every off-road challenge they faced and even beat it in a drag race on a dirt road. Why? Because it had more torque than even that bigger diesel could produce. Even when the clutch failed on the Rover’s transmission, it still out-climbed the Trooper on a trail segment called, “The Waterfall.”

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    This should be a good illustration of why fascism isn’t of value. These same states will push for increased taxes for transportation because they’re squandering their tax revenue trying to create a command economy. Mary Nichols should suffer unprecedented horrors because of what she is doing, not because of her membership in a protected majority. If people want electric cars, let them buy electric cars with their own money. Let them pay for their own electricity and park like members of a democracy while they’re at it.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      OK, sure. Let’s let the market reflect the true cost of driving. That makes sense. But then, does the price you pay at the pump really reflect the true cost of that gasoline?

      Did you factor in the costs of both gulf wars? Or Afghanistan – because we know that 9/11 was sparked by the US having troops in the gulf. Did you factor in all the productivity, let alone pity, of all our dead soldiers? Did you factor in the # of deaths from pollution caused by ICE?

      I am fine with ending the subsidies on electric cars, just as soon as we end the subsidies on oil. Then, when we are paying $8/gallon like Europeans, maybe people will rethink their rides.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        There are no subsidies on oil. Exxon-Mobile paid $28B in taxes last year. Yes, they are able to write off certain expenses against revenue, but all corporations do this under current tax law.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          FALSE. Oil companies receive CASH from our federal government, purportedly to research new energy sources–in the region of Billions of dollars per company. Most of this money is used to find new sources of oil rather than finding alternative energy sources.

          • 0 avatar
            Master Baiter

            Source?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Source: Exxon/Mobile
            Source: British Petroleum

            Shall I continue?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Source: Exxon/Mobile”

            If you’re going to claim that you have a source, you might want to start by spelling it correctly.

          • 0 avatar
            Master Baiter

            “Source: Exxon/Mobile
            Source: British Petroleum

            Shall I continue?”

            Continue if you actually plan to answer the question. Quote the text of their annual reports or link to the information.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ok, mister bait, here’s an answer for you:

            “As early as 1916, the federal government instituted income tax incentives to encourage individuals and corporations to drill for oil. During the 1930s, federally financed dams created hydroelectric power. From the 1950s onward, the federal government financed research into nuclear power. More recently, the federal government has provided research funding and other financing to expand the availability of renewable energy sources. 2 Virtually all U.S. energy resources have received or currently receive subsidies.” — http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/energy/subsidies/

            Another:
            “Finding and tallying federal energy subsidies, however, can be fiendishly difficult. Doug Koplow of the energy-consulting firm Earth Track in Cambridge, Mass., is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the topic.

            “He estimates that the US spent between $49 billion and $100 billion on energy subsidies in 2007 – numbers Mr. Koplow says are still accurate if adjusted for inflation. The handouts cover a broad range of activities, from federal loan guarantees and funding for energy research and development to special tax exemptions.

            “Here is how the subsidies break down by category, adjusted for inflation, according to Koplow.

            “Oil and gas: $41 billion
            President Obama wants Congress to chop $3.6 billion in 2012 oil and gas tax breaks for a total of $46.2 billion over the next decade. Among Mr. Obama’s targets: a nearly century-old oil and gas industry tax deduction for the costs of preparing drill sites and a manufacturer’s tax break granted the oil industry in 2004.

            “The number is significant, but still little more than one-tenth of the federal subsidies that oil and gas companies might receive over 10 years. Adjusted for inflation, they currently receive about $41 billion in annual subsidies annually. That amounts to more than half – 52 percent – of total benefits distributed to energy sectors by the federal government.

            “Coal: $8 billion
            In second place among fossil fuels, the US coal industry reaps about $8 billion in subsidies annually – or about 10 percent of total federal largess. This includes tax breaks, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars on research into carbon capture and storage.

            “Those figures mean that subsidies to industries involved in fossil fuels total about $52 billion when adjusted for inflation – about two-thirds all federal energy subsidies.

            “Nuclear: $9 billion
            Even though it’s been decades since a new nuclear power plant began construction, nuclear power in the US gets about $9 billion annually in federal subsidies. This money is embedded in federal decommissioning and waste management policies, as well as research and development at the nation’s national laboratories.” — http://rushlimbaughreport.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-do-we-give-oil-companies-federal.html

            Now, I’m not necessarily in favor of eliminating ALL subsidies to the oil industry, but it’s quite obvious that they’re given far more money than any other energy source AND that some of those subsidies are in at least some cases outdated and obsolete. Sure, they were fine when the industry was first getting started, but now they’re a well-matured industry and simply don’t NEED that help.

            The same could hold true for coal and nuclear except that nuclear has a much more severe waste problem as well as a need for new nuclear technologies that are cleaner and more robust than most existing generation facilities–as evidenced by the fact that the vast majority of nuclear power plants have now operated well past their original design life of 25 years. Coal, too, has an issue that deserves support in helping to make burning cleaner and more efficient–and disposing of waste which is, at best, classed as a hazardous material due to radioactive by-products and simple chemical poisons within those ash pools. Somehow, we need to find a way to not only control those wastes, but if all possible find a way to recycle them either as another form of fuel or other beneficial product.

            And you are correct, the oil companies themselves don’t make it easy to find where SOME of their operating funds come from; through grants, preferential loans and tax breaks (even Rush Limbaugh pointed out “special tax exemptions.”)

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I really wish our esteemed politicians would collectively grow a pair. Do you want to save gas, save the environment, and cause people to seriously consider BEVs, more fuel efficient cars, etc.? RAISE THE GAS TAX! You don’t have to do it all at once, you could raise it $.20 a year or some such. But the way to alter demand, is to alter DEMAND, not muck around making companies create vehicles that not very many people actually want.


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