Less than a year after everyone with any sort of say in the matter seemed to agree that 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025 was a properly attainable goal, the California Air Resources Board has decided to change things up a bit.

In addition to CAFE requirements of a 54.5-mpg fleet average (using the government's formula, not what you see on window stickers), at least 15.4 percent of all cars sold by any major automaker doing business in California will have to be either fully electric, a plug-in hybrid or be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell by 2025. There are questions about the "over-compliance" section of the bill, which we'll be investigating further.

According to Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, 15.4 percent is "actually a relatively modest goal, but that's all that we're mandating." Most automakers are on board, says Nichols. "Probably the most heartening aspect of this whole rulemaking was the level of cooperation that we received from the industry... Overall, the degree of support for the package was just extraordinary."

Even if automakers are on board, though, there's still a question of who will actually buy the vehicles. While everyone wants better fuel efficiency, not everyone is willing to pay for it, counters the California New Car Dealers Association, estimating that the plan would add about $3,200 to the average price of a new car or truck. Perhaps to help dissuade such fears, Nichols added that "direct incentives to people who buy these cars (like) rebates and credits" are also in the works.

At least 10 more states are likely to follow California's lead, reports Automotive News. That would put the total number of advanced green vehicles (either with a plug or powered by hydrogen) at around three million total units by 2025, 1.4 million of which would be in California.


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  • 242 Comments
      rakrakrakrakr
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's okay guys, California has tons of cash to spend on incentives for 15.4% of its citizens. What could go wrong?
      S.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Non-polluting? As in...not in my backyard kind of polluting? Why does anybody still pay attention to what California has to say?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S.
        [blocked]
          S.
          • 2 Years Ago
          I'm for real sorry, man. I might end up there myself for a little while depending on how things go post-graduation (several big ad agencies in LA).
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S.
        AB made up the "non-polluting" description, not California.
      Higher750
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hasn't Ferrari said they have no interest in building eletric cars? How would this affect them?
        osinkboy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Higher750
        it kinda wouldn't. The idea is that 15 percent of ALL new cars be zero-emission. Ferrari doesn't sell near that 15% mark. They will just be accounted in the remaining 85%
        Krishan Mistry
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Higher750
        Ferrari said that? I now have a little more respect for them. Now if they can promise no hybrid electric bull **** too, then at least we know the folks from Maranello wouldnt be pushed over by some California commies.
        r_r
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Higher750
        Ferrari is not a "major" automaker.
        Charles Houghton
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Higher750
        I think the 15% is per company not per brand, so fiats other brands should be able to take care of the 15%
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      Did you hear of the latest federally funded EV company to go bankrupt?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        [blocked]
          Brian P
          • 2 Years Ago
          Ener1 http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-27/ener1-parent-of-u-s-subsidized-battery-unit-seeks-bankruptcy.html
          tinted up
          • 2 Years Ago
          Tax money? Hahahahaha They ran out of tax money a while ago, they just print more these days. Someone really needs to make a print moar moneyz meme
      Jeff R
      • 2 Years Ago
      How exactly is an auto maker supposed to comply with this regulation? Say it's nearing the end of the year and the car maker has only been able to sell 10% ZEVs. Does the auto maker have to tell it's potential customers they can't buy the car they want because they haven't sold enough ZEVs? Do they put a gun to the customers head and force them to buy a ZEV? Do they sell nothing but ZEVs at a substantial discount losing money on every unit until they reach a 15.4% share? This is the real world just because they build them does not mean people will buy them. This central planning idiocy has no business in a free market.
      rex
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why does that picture remind me of something from a Star wars show?
        neonrt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rex
        "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause" ―Padmé Amidala
      Gorf
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its simple right now. If you would like to have a car in California you have the option of a nissan leaf or a mitsubishi i. All other vehicles that use a ICE will be exported out of the state. This includes devices such as... leaf blowers, lawn mowers, golf carts, busses, trains, airplanes, and scooters. So If you own a business that requires any travel to California, please relocate!
      Keenan Sullivan
      • 2 Years Ago
      At least its just 15%. Us true car enthusiasts can still have our lovely gas comubstion engine and our beautiful dual exhaust.
      Shannador
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dear California, Last I heard, your state was going rather bankrupt. Please stop telling companies how to run themselves before someone does something stupid, like listening to you. The rest of the union thanks you in advance for your logical use of restraint.
      bobmarley
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its ideas like these that helped California get into their current financial mess. The problem with our current government mentality is that they think they are running a business where the goal is to expand and grow (or at least that's what it seems).
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Tiberius1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        You are truly delusional...and try posing your arguments without including swearing...you might find folks might actually give thought to your position. BTW General Motors pioneered the catalytic convertor..all on their own. Enjoy your Prius.
          Matt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Tiberius1701
          Both wrong, the catalytic converter was created in the 50s by a French engineer but it wasn't until 1973 that the Engelhard Corporation fitted a cat to a vehicle as a way to clean up emissions and improve efficiency due to the oil crisis.
          caddy-v
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Tiberius1701
          Judging the lunacy of your comments, I'm proud to be a Fox listener.
        lol_ur_dumb
        • 2 Years Ago
        nick: "Say whatever you want, but if there wasn't California to raise the bar, we still wouldn't have catalytic converters and fuel efficiency would be sh-ts." Nice fallacy. Because one regulation is good or feasible, doesn't mean that all regulations are good or feasible. Try again?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Fixitfixitstop
        • 2 Years Ago
        More than 13% of the US population is in California. You want them all to take a 13% hit?
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