New California Rules Create a Market for Plug-Ins
Washington DC March 31, 2008; The AIADA newsletter reported that last week, California regulators created an instant market — and a sizable one — for plug-in hybrids.
The California Air Resources Board ruled that automakers must sell at least 66,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles from 2012 through 2014. The ultimate sales target for plug-ins could grow even larger if 12 other states that have adopted California's emissions rules follow suit.
According to Automotive News, GM and Toyota are developing plug-in hybrids for sale around 2010. But the mandate could pose a major headache for Nissan, Honda, and Chrysler, which have not yet announced plans for plug-in vehicles.
Several automakers, such as Mitsubishi, BMW, Nissan, and Subaru, are considering "pure" electric vehicles, but none has been approved for sale in the United States.
California regulators want to force the issue. "We're introducing a whole new category of vehicles to the public," California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols told the Associated Press.