CA Air Resource Board Gives Chevy Volt Extra Credit

ca air resource board gives chevy volt extra credit

The Los Angeles Times is calling it "a significant blow for environmentalists and transportation activists." On Thursday, California's Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to "slash" the number of emission-free vehicles automakers must sell in the state by 70 percent. The panel adopted new rules that would require the largest companies selling cars in the state to produce 7.5k electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles from 2012 to 2014. (Down from the 25k under rules set in ‘03.) In addition, carmakers will be called upon to make about 58k plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the same period. CARB also decided overhaul its entire Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, to align it with tougher greenhouse-gas emission standards. CARB board member Daniel Sperling says "it's my view that both plug-in hybrids and [emission-free vehicles] are tremendous stretches for the industry." But Chelsea Sexton, the executive director of Plug In America says "It's a huge blow, they sent the message to the carmakers that they can always get what they want from the board." And here's the kicker: GM asked for "special consideration" for the Chevy Volt. GM's executive director for environment, energy and safety argued that the Volt will have a longer range than rival plug-in hybrids so, you know, cut us some slack. The board granted that request, valuing extended-range plug-in hybrids more highly than shorter-range models. GM has yet to sell a single Volt, but hey, why let the facts get in the way?

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4 of 11 comments
  • Gawdodirt Gawdodirt on Mar 28, 2008

    Wow. Tough crowd. Maybe by lowering the requirements they might spur some development? And times are a bit clearer with regard to actual achievable engineering goals than they were in '03. I mean, if the rules are going to pre-empt you from making a profit, why try at all?

  • Donal Fagan Donal Fagan on Mar 29, 2008
    It’s interesting that Sadad Al Husseini feels “speculation” is adding about $20-plus to the current price of a barrel of oil. Political turmoil certainly drives the price higher. What I question is whether speculators themselves have the influence to *significantly* drive prices up and down. A few dollars, maybe, but not twenty.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Mar 29, 2008

    Glenn, Please let me explain my extra credit remark. What I was thinking was that a) The Volt will likely never qualify because it either will not ever be built or meet the requirements, and b) that they were not giving the Volt SPECIFICALLY extra credit. The last part is key because our legislatures have been making the mistake of writing laws that are down right unethical because they keep narrowly picking the winners (even to the point of actually naming the technology). IOW, it is wrong for government to subsidize or require corn based ethanol. If they want a pollution restriction, or a renewable requirement, or some other attribute they should write a framework that let's the market find the best methods and products to meet those requirements. In the case of the long range plug ins, then it actually makes sense to give extra credit to cars that can run more miles because they will likely displace more pollution.

  • Glenn Swanson Glenn Swanson on Mar 30, 2008

    @ Landcrusher Ah, okay-- now I see your point. :-)