California may be the Golden State, but when it comes to the upcoming debuts of a number of battery-electric vehicles, prospective buyers may want to associate the most populous U.S. state with the color red. As in herring.

That's the conclusion of Green Car Reports in its evaluation of a number of EVs set to launch within the next year or two. With automakers like Toyota, General Motors and Ford obligated to meet certain zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) quotas for California, those companies are making EV versions of the RAV4, Chevrolet Spark, Focus (respectively) almost purely for the purpose of meeting the quotas – not for any widespread U.S. sales.

Honda and Chrysler are also making what GCR termed "compliance cars" with the Fit and the Fiat 500 Elettrica. All of those models are strictly for show, the publication says, because they're either going to be lease-only models, won't be available much outside of the "California emissions" states, will be produced in extremely low volumes or have so few details released about them from the automakers that a true national roll-out is unlikely.

Of course, if a bunch of other states follow California's emissions rules lead, this all could change. Earlier this year, we learned that as many as 10 other states may adopt zero-emissions vehicles quotas similar to California's. Also, California recently finalized a requirement for more than 15 percent of the new cars to be ZEVs by the 2025 model year, which would mean that about 270,000 ZEVs would have to be sold in California each year.

Still, we like that GCR named names, and you can get all the details and reasoning here.


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  • 110 Comments
      Letstakeawalk
      • 6 Months Ago
      There's worse things than being considered a "toy". Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Pagani, Lotus, etc. all do pretty well building "toys". Nothing those companies make could be construed as necessary or even truly practical. Yet, plenty of people find ways to use them in their daily commute! Anyway, all cars are toys - you can live without them; you simply choose not to and instead base your lifestyle around them.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      How did Green Car Reports miss the BMW ActiveE? Closed-end lease only. Factory conversion (and a bit ugly one at that). I'm not sure how GCR justifies jumping to conclusions about the battery pack that exploded at GM's plant. GM said it wasn't related to any car that is in production, and the Spark EV has been for sale in India for a while now. Best to stick to the facts, GCR.
        Jay Temkar
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        Hi..Simple correction as I am from India... Altough Chevy Spark (We call it as Chevy Beat) is on sale in India it is not EV. They have simple Petrol and Diesel models for sale in India.
          Rotation
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Jay Temkar
          Okay. Thanks. I see from some searching that although the Beat (Spark) has been out in India for a while and the Beat (Spark) EV was shown in India last year, the Beat EV isn't on sale in India yet.
          Nick
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Jay Temkar
          Jay 99.9 of spark / beats are gasoline or diesel.
      Austin Too
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a prissy, whiny article. Useless. I would call Green Car Reports pretty idiotic for setting up a list of what they say are the criteria for a "real" versus a "complaince" vehicle and then not follow their own selection criteria. In particular, calling the Ford Focus Electric a "compliance car" by their own standards is not accurate. So let's go through their own criteria: 1. Sold outright to consumers, not just leased: Check Ford has already announced the purchase price of $39,995 before EV rebates. There is also a lease plan. 2. It will sell at least 5,000 in the U.S. or 20,000 worldwide. Check. Allan Mullaly has indicated he would be happy with 5,000 first year which makes sense as the rollout is just beginning in 3 states, but will expand soon. As I posted a couple of days ago, it looks like the motor capacity at Magna's new plant in Grand Blanc, MI will be around 20k upa on two shifts which gives what I believe is a good indication of Ford's expectations. Volume could go as high as 30K before bottlecks would present themselves. 3. It's offered outside of California Emissions States or will be within 18 months. Check. The rollout plan was posted on ABG a couple of days ago. Nationwide by year end.
        DaveMart
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Austin Too
        I'm a bit more impressed with Ford's efforts than I was at first. This is mainly down to their plans to make sure that their dealers are properly trained in EV's. I went into the local Renault dealer the other day, mainly to have a look at the Twizy, which they did not have in stock yet, but they did have a Renault Kangoo ZE. One of the salesmen came across and I asked how it was selling. Instead of a reply I was given a talk on why the electric version was not worth while, and the diesel was the only sensible option. Selling electric cars under those circumstances is rather as though at the turn of the 20th century the franchises were given exclusively to horse traders. The present generation of car salesmen needs to die out or be sent to the Gulags for re-education before we get good sales it seems! A subsidiary reason is that as far as I can work out from the UK looking at US prices the like for like spec of the Focus EV is only around $2k more than the Leaf, not $4k. Of course you are still stuck with a ludicrous boot, but that is not important for everyone. So Ford seems to be taking pure electric more seriously than the initial impression they gave, although they are hardly racing ahead and their claims of leadership simply make them sound like Walter Mitty.
          Michael
          • 6 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Marco, Toyota hasn't bred respect into their sales staff for EVs. They have, however, done so for hybrids, as it was used as a differentiator for the sales team to boost their own wallets (that's the number 1 thing a sales guy cares about - making money). When Toyota decides to release a true EV, they will properly incentivize their sales team to push them off the show room floor. To this point it seems only Nissan (at least in the US) has done so, though it would not surprise me if Mitsubishi and Ford follow suit once they ramp up production for the US market.
          marcopolo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          @ Dave Mart Very true Dave, as I have said in earlier posts, it's absolutely essential to have the showroom staff sufficiently motivated and with great incentives, to overcome their own prejudice and take the extra time to sell EV models. It depressing for even the most motivated sales staff to listen to the negatives about Ev's from everywhere, as well as the number of curiosity seekers, time wasters and know-it -alls Ev's attract. It's important that the dealer, and his senior staff, actively, and enthusiastically get behind the technology. At the moment many Ford, GM, Nissan etc sales staff regard EV's as oddities, and a bit of a joke to be ignored in favour of selling cheaper and more profitable cars. Only Toyota has really bred respect for EV technology into it's salestaff. (But it took years). Bill Ford Jr, is very keen on changing the culture of Ford dealers and barnstorms motor shows and Ford dealer showrooms on 'green' education missions. It's a really great privilege to hear him speak.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Austin Too
        Yeah, aim for low sales numbers, price it high, and let another company deal with the R&D. Go Ford, really pushing forward the high tech.... ;) You forgot the element of the CAFE play. Each one of these cars does wonders for their numbers. For every 90-110MPGe, they get credit towards selling 4 guzzlers. That happens on a federal level. Hey! it's smart of them on a business level, but you can't say they are devoted to moving towards electric in any way. It makes more sense for them to game some idealistic & highly flawed federal and state regulations for their own benefit. But the cost of EVs needs to come down. Mass manufacturing and a supply chain in the USA will make it happen. These companies are not working towards that goal.
          marcopolo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @2WM Ford is primarily a business. Ford's first duty is to remain solvent, and stay in business. Ford must also produce a product that Ford can sell with the limited resources Ford possesses. Mass manufacturing does help to reduce prices, but not as much as you would wish. A large reduction on price will come mainly as a result of better technology. Ford has been funding R&D into a short life, high capacity, recyclable battery that can be produced very cheaply, and replaced yearly. such a product would dramatically lower the price of Ford EV's, while retaining a dealer servicing aspect. The industry is still very young, the next few years will see some astonishingly unexpected developments.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Sorry, but i disagree about the mass production part. I've got quotes from Chinese factories for some big stuff ( looking to get into business myself ) and they never just make 1 part at a time. The cost would be so much higher. The factory collects dust until they get a 100-10,000 unit order.. then it is breakneck efficiency until the order is done. Ford built their company on mass manufacturing. They intentionally want to sell a low quantity. It's really a shame, that is all. You and i both know they can do better if they put their heart into it.
          Austin Too
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Ford's basic philosophy and strategy is different than Nissan's; they are both in business to make money and neither one developed their strategy in a Kum Ba Yah session in the woods trying to save the world. Of course I don't know specifically their strategies, but Ford believes we will move to higher levels of electrification, and also believes the adoption will come more gradually than Nissan seems to believe. Ford also believe that there is near term technology that can decrease CO2 faster than full BEV considering their product mix. I think you'll find, for instance that EcoBoost will start to pretty much take over complete carlines at Ford. You'll find a push on the Gen III hybrids. Ford has matched it's Gen I BEV to its expectations what they believe is natural demand. Both the Leaf and the FFE are very convential body construction. If Ford wants to invest in a unique body along with a better battery repackage, they will be able to do so at a later date and mix it into the plant. I don't think many people here have experience with Tier I suppliers, but it's not necessarily a bad thing to use suppliers rather than making the components yourself. And with Ford's view, capacitizing now for large volumes might not have been a wise choice. I fully understand the rampup might not be as fast as some enthusiasts might hope. But too much capacity too soon also might not be the right decision. We'll see.
        marcopolo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Austin Too
        @Austin Too Thank you, as always, accurate succinct and well researched ! @ Jesse Gurr Jesse, nearly any vehicle can be leased. Leasing is just another form of vehicle financing. But, leasing isn't renting. You must pay the residual at the end of the lease (or the difference) . Only experimental cars are offered on a special type of lease. Since these vehicles are not registered for retail sales they must be return at the end of the lease period.
          Grendal
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marcopolo
          I'll agree with Marco - Well said, Austin Too. At this point there are no bad production EV's.
          Austin Too
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marcopolo
          I should have explained better. The main point of my comments should not have been on the FFE, but on the general tone of the reviewer. I don't think it does anybody any good to divide the EV world into "good" and "evil." And when the author makes the cut of "real" and "complaince", he is doing just that. Of course a lot of things can be said about the individual EV etnries in terms of attributes and that's all fair game. It's also fair game to talk about whether the particular product is, in fact, just filling a hole for now and therefore might present some issues with a potential buyer downstream as the manufacturer moves to a new vehicle. But as long as the entry is safe and relaible, the more the merrier. The market will decide. And if some manufacturer's effort is sub par just to meet the legislation and sales lag, then they will have to up their game. In the meantime, I'm not going to somehow think any worse of them; they'll sort it out.
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Austin Too
        Austin Too: Ford is not going to sell 5,000 in the US of that vehicle. Mullaly may say they'd be happy with 5,000 sold, but so far they have sold only a handful this year.
          Rotation
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          It's been out for 5 months now. Early vehicles were some time ago.
          Austin Too
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          @Rotation, the Focus has not been for sale to retail customers. Just last week, Ford announced its first authorized and trained dealers in the first 3 states (it was posted on ABG) as well as their rollout plan. So retail deliveries are just now beginning. That doesn't necessarily mean that Ford will sell 5,000 this year. But things will settle down from a production standpoint -- probably by the 3Q -- when the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi are melded into the production line and when Compact Power's Holland, MI battery cell plant comes on line. By the end of the year, Ford will have authorized dealers nationwide. Next year will be a better indication of ongoing demand.
          Austin Too
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Rotation, the early units were essentially saleable prototypes that were sold to fleets. The retail rollout (nationwide by year end) is just now taking place so we'll see what the retail demand is. But a good portion of the year is gone, and all the dealers aren't on board yet. From a manufacturing standpoint, Ford's plant is ready; Magna's component plant launched last week but has evidently had some problem with employee turnover (in a state with over 8% unemployment!!); the Compact Power battery cell plant in Holland, MI isn't launched yet, but cells can come from Korea in the meantime like they do on the Volt. I don't expect the first year will go totally smoothly, but production should settle down by the fall.
        Jesse Gurr
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Austin Too
        I thought that exact same thing! Totally agree with you on the criteria. They list the criteria first on their site and i remember thinking that they all match with the focus ev rollout. Given that Ford doesn't seem to think it will sell that much. But with a goal of 5000 per year, it would meet the requirements set up by greencarreports.com as a 'real' EV, albiet barely. Although I haven't heard anything about a lease for the focus electric. I would be more interested in a lease. But thats just me.
          Jesse Gurr
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Jesse Gurr
          I did notice the lease after I posted this. Must have been new since the last time i looked at it, last week, it was not there. But thinking about it some more, since I haven't done any kind of lease only financing, realized that I drive too much for any kind of lease that I've heard about. 30,000 miles/year. I guess financing would be best. But until my workplace gets a charging port I won't be getting any electric cars.
          Austin Too
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Jesse Gurr
          @Jesse Gurr I went to the Ford site and put in a California zip code. The lease is $439 a month for 36 months with (gulp) $3,524 due at signing.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 6 Months Ago
      This thread is Mecca for the BEV conspiracy theorists, I see. The usual complaints about how a government regulation requiring the production/sale of a specific vehicle type is resulting in automakers producing enough of that type to be compliant, quelle surprise!
      • 6 Months Ago
      Given the drop of LEAF sales (unless someone can provide evidence of supply constraints), I am worried that BEV's still haven't achieved the price, performance / range / utility, and infrastructure thresholds for mass market appeal. I think CARB / California should broaden the eligible vehicles to include quadracycles (Renault Twizy, Opel RAK-e), motorcycles (Zero, Brammo, Quantya, etc.), scooters, etc. and provide similar subsidies. This would drive sales of the vehicles people are already buying, instead of ones they don't want or can't afford.
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        quadracycles are not legal here.
          lne937s
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spec
          they are called NEV's here. Different name, same concept
          Spec
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Why are you voting me down for a fact? LOL!
          Grendal
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Spec
          You made them feel bad with you're damn reality. :)
        marcopolo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jason Hendler Jason, here's the thing. It's great to be an EV enthusiast. But you also have to be realistic ! You can't try to force mass markets to conform to the aspirations of yourself and handful of fellow enthusiasts. The Opel RAKe, is only a concept vehicle, the twizzy, is just curiosity in America, Brammo and Zero's sales are minuscule. Vectrix spent nearly $1,000,000,000 and sold less than 2000 units world wide ! The truth is such oddities are not worthwhile. ( Brammo and Zero excepted) People are not buying, because these vehicles are perceived as impractical for their needs. You can't force people to choose what they don't want, or need, or believe is good for them by government regulation ! People will just choose a new government ! People must be convinced of the better value, from EV technology. Toyota, GM, Nissan, Tesla are starting to make real headway.
          Nick
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marcopolo
          " Vectrix spent nearly $1,000,000,000 and sold less than 2000 units world wide !" How could that possibly happen? Seems like Vectrix was run by brain damaged people..? I bet an enterprising man could do the same with <$40 million!
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marcopolo
          First of all, I want to broaden what's allowable to improve chances of success. Secondly, my expectations are that electric motorcycle and scooter sales will have the greatest success in America nearterm. Thirdly, while I understand that quadracycles are illegal in the US, they should be legalized, and I expect less affluent buyers would snatch up the Opel RAKe. If Opel introduces the RAKe in Europe, where they are legal, they will be a big hit. When it does succeed, they will look to export it to Asia, North America and South America. We should be ready when they do. The vehicles that benefit the most from the incremental improvements in batteries are the smaller ones - bicycles, scooters, motorcycles and quadracycles. The thresholds to mass market acceptance will fall first to these vehicles - cars and trucks will be last - so we should broaden the regulations in anticipation of that inevitibility.
          marcopolo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marcopolo
          @Jason Hendler Jason, how on earth does introducing substandard vehicles of very limited appeal, assist with the introduction of EV's? Such vehicle are counter-productive, with few buyers, except fringe enthusiasts and a vast degree of ridicule and contempt from the general public ! If your theory was correct, micro-cars would have dominated the roads years ago ! The 'less affluent' buy used cars !
          montoym
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marcopolo
          quote from marcopolo: - "You can't force people to choose what they don't want, or need, or believe is good for them by government regulation !" - Isn't that pretty much exactly what this CARB mandate is?
          SVX pearlie
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marcopolo
          "You can't force people to choose what they don't want, or need, or believe is good for them by government regulation !" Exactly
          marcopolo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marcopolo
          @ Nick, Your description would be a mild comment on the corporate skills of the last Vectrix CEO, Mike Boyle. !
          • 6 Months Ago
          @marcopolo
          @marcopolo, No, microcars like the SmartEV and Th!nk City were the wrong combination of cost / utility / performance. Too expensive for something that consumers with the required money would be NOT seen driving. Granted, the Twizy is moon-buggy-ish, but it would be very, very cheap relative to the LEAF and Volt, so its available to a much broader market. The Opel RAKe, in my opinion, is the fastball strike, right down the middle, of where the market is, falling between electric motorcycles and full electric or EREV vehicles. Its low profile and small frontal area allow a much smaller battery pack, so it will finally hit the price / utilty / performance thresholds that consumers want.
      Nick
      • 6 Months Ago
      God Bless California.
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Nick
        Yeah, even though we may deride the 'compliance cars' they are at least EVs that are made available to the general public, they increase the size of the battery market, they move the ball forward, they introduce more people to EVs, etc.
        EZEE
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Nick
        nick/spec Thanks to you two FOR ONCE pointing out something positive, even if what the point of this article about is true. I swear, every time they report good news, people are all, 'not good enough, dammit! Or 'should have happened 30 years ago!' in y'alls case, you took the premise of the article and said, 'eff it. Even if true, it still means that California got the ball rolling.' even happy optimistic me didn't think of that angle! So thanks to you both. You made my evening. Everyone be happy for a change, dammit.
      SVX pearlie
      • 6 Months Ago
      If CARB would extract its head from its ass, a lot of this nonsense would be moot. Things like the Volt run as EV the vast majority of the time (i.e. daily commutes), but are still useful. Whereas pure BEVs like the FFE and MINI EV, Smart EV are things most families can only use as third cars, being unsuitable to a majority of buyers. Right now, I see BEVs as toys, and if they are to be 15% of the market (by 2025), prices will have to come down dramatically with much better infrastructure. Or the definition expanded to include anything with a 40-mile AER (i.e. capable of covering the typical CA RT commute) and 75 mph EV speed.
        montoym
        • 6 Months Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        Hybrids don't even make up 4% of the market after well more than a decade on sale. There's virtually no way EV's are going to be 15% of the market by 2025, hybrids may barely reach that. Doesn't matter what CARB has to say abotu it, consumers will drive the demand, not forced mandates from government. Plus, we've been down this road before. How many other mandates has CARB pushed out that end up getting amended or dropped completely?
        JakeY
        • 6 Months Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        The Volt costs more than most BEVs in its class. I don't really buy the economic argument. CARB has already given a lot of leeway in terms of substitutes in the past (there's one that still exists in the current rule, the GHG Over-compliance rule), but I think the time is ripe to stand hard. A ZEV is a ZEV, you can't really expand the definition. Plus, 15% by 2025 actually includes PHEVs: http://green.autoblog.com/2012/01/27/california-breaks-rank-again-demands-over-15-of-cars-sold-be-n/ BEVs are not toys. There's plenty of people in California using it for daily commutes (I have seen a couple of Leafs in my neighborhood already).
          SVX pearlie
          • 6 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          I've seem a few BEVs, too. Doesn't mean BEV are functional for anything but very tiny and limited niche of drivers. And according to the article, the 15% is "ZEV" only.
          Rotation
          • 6 Months Ago
          @JakeY
          A couple, I see LEAFs everywhere. I see at least a dozen a day. But the existence of the LEAF still doesn't mean the Volt doesn't make more sense for a ton of drivers.
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        "Right now, I see BEVs as toys" Well clearly all those Leaf & Mitsubishi-i buyers don't agree with you.
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        CARB isn't anti-Volt. I do with they would back off the Prius PHEV a bit, but they aren't anti-Volt.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 6 Months Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        A BEV is not a toy, bro.. do you like speed? got a nerdy streak? can you solder or operate some hand tools? build your own wicked rocket on 2 or 4 wheels and you will never, ever want to turn over a gas engine again ( with an electric motor... :D ), ever. And you will figure a way around the limits, or accept them as a minor downfall that pales against all the many upsides. trust me..
          Tim W.
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Tesla's Model X comes out next year. It's a 3 row 7 seat crossover that will out-accelerate anything in it's class. (0-60 in 4.4s) I'm sure your wife's car will last until the model X comes out, and I wouldn't encourage anyone to ditch a working vehicle for a new one unless they had money to burn, but by the time you're in the market for a new car, there will be plenty of options in every market sector except maybe long-haul semis... http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tesla-unveils-model-x
          SVX pearlie
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Wrong, BEVs are toys, not real cars. Yes, Yes, Yes, and No Fing way I'm going to build a car. Tho if I did, I'd build a Stratos replicar, not a glorified toy from Radio Shack.. I currently drive an 3500-lb BMW as my DD, and my wife's 3-row Benz CUV tips the scales at 5000+ lbs with a 5.0l V-8 underhood. None of the current BEVs hold a candle to either car. Hell, there isn't even an option for a 6-seat CUV.
      lad
      • 6 Months Ago
      Please note all the companies serious about bringing BEVs to market are not members of the lobbying group known as The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM). Those would be Nissan, Mitsu, Tesla and Coda. The AAM members are following in lock step building Hybrids and delaying BEVs as much as possible.
      Jim McL
      • 6 Months Ago
      That article over at Green Car Reports struck me as wrong on so many levels. Another way to look at the regulatory situation is that all cars made by major auto makers are "compliance cars" regardless of the fuel. The entire regulatory framework in the US is a cooperation between manufacturers to raise the bar without letting anyone cheat. No manufacturer can move forward with cleaner technology and its inherent higher costs if there is not a level playing field, and that is what CARB and EPA negotiate with the manufacturers. And it is absolutely a negotiation with the manufacturers. The only cars that are not "compliance cars" today are those made by EV-only manufacturers, in the US those are (in order of maturity): 1) Think 2) Tesla 3) Coda Coda is just starting, Tesla is the Big Boy but only about one quarter the age of Think. Tesla and Think have about the same number of cars on the road today globally, a few thousand each give of take. That will change very soon. There are no emissions regulations for any of those three to consider, "compliance" for them only extends to safety and service rules. What, someone believes that a Dodge Challenger does not need to comply with a bunch of emissions regulations? Of course it does, so it is a "compliance car" by this definition. And any EV made by the majors (including Nissan, bless them) contributes to their compliance credits. Regardless of quantity. So the Leaf is also a compliance car, it helps Nissan build there stash of compliance credits. The limited efforts of some manufacturers in EVs appear to me more as a simple engineering learning curve, they don't want to jump in with a half baked effort like the Leaf, they need to figure out how to get the battery meter right and regenerative braking off the foundation brake pedal without causing safety issues. And a cost effective heat pump for winter cabin heat is essential for mass acceptance. These things are crucial, they take time, and the Leaf has none of them. Still a great car for these times, and a wonderful compliment to the dedicated (low volume) EV only manufacturers, but a big gamble and maybe too soon. I hope not. But that article in Green Car Reports was a thinly veiled attempt to promote the Leaf at the expense of other EV efforts. Not the best way to promote the Big Picture of EV potential. BMW is being extremely smart, doing two entire generations of EVs that are explicitly research vehicles only, and in the hands of hundreds of chumps like me. I suspect BMW will be the only serious competition for Tesla when they finally get into the for-sale EV market.
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        I believe EV only manufacturers are also "compliance car" manufacturers, because part of their business plan required selling ZEV credits to the large automakers to make a profit.
        Rotation
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        Jim McL: The Think cars were city car, not fully functioning cars. Most of the ones sold were open-format like a golf cart. If you count them, there are a lot more makers you have to count. I don't agree that a car has to be made by an EV-only company to not be a compliance car. Nissan seems committed to EVs for example.
          Spec
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          Oh that is bull-crap. The Think was a full functioning car. It had a longer range than the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi-i! You are confusing the Think City with the Think NEV.
        Tysto
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        You don't get to define "compliance car". "Compliance car" here means that they will only be leased or sold in quantities necessary to comply with the law, probably because the manufacturer loses money on them. I don't believe that to be true, especially for Tesla, but I do think that EVs won't become appealing to the masses until the next generation batteries greatly improve range at lower cost.
          Ele Truk
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Tysto
          Regardless of whether or not they are compliance cars. Once they are offered for sale in the state of California (and the 13 other states that follow CAs example) the car manufacturers are required to warranty the vehicle for 10 years. So they have to be pretty committed to bring and EV to market. Of course they could try just buying ZEV credits, but I don't thin there would be enough to go around if the sales of ZEVs were limited to a few manufacturers.
        Michael
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        Think is dead.
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        C'mon. You really think the Nissan Leaf is just a 'compliance car'? No, you don't really believe that do you?
      lne937s
      • 6 Months Ago
      Which automakers are part of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers? Which automakers support the SAE Level III charger plug? Which automakers have been identified for little effort beyond CA compliance for pure EV's (the only ones that would use quick chargers)? Answer those three questions and the industry politics around EV's gets clearer.
      Spec
      • 6 Months Ago
      Is the Spark EV really just a Compliance car? I guess it is possible but I don't think we have enough information to know yet. The ones that are just leased in limited quantities (Fit & Rav4) are.
      carney373
      • 6 Months Ago
      If only CA would mandate that all new gasoline cars sold there be fully flex fueled, able to run not just on gasoline but also on any alcohol fuel such as ethanol and especially methanol (made from natural gas, coal, or ANY biomass including weeds, crop residues, trash, and sewage), then THAT would make a REAL difference.
        Michael
        • 6 Months Ago
        @carney373
        Sure let's add even more costs the the purchase of a new vehicle, that will spur the market. California and cars, is like Texas and education. They force the rest of the country to do stupid things, even though their hearts are in the right place; their minds are on Neptune.
          montoym
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Michael
          Making a car Flex-Fuel compliant is minuscule compared to the cost of making that same vehicle a hybrid or a full-on EV. So much so that many manufacturers just throw in the FFV capability as standard as opposed to an option you'd pay for.
        • 6 Months Ago
        @carney373
        That would be wonderful for the economy of the midwestern state in which I live. However, the environmental carbon benefits of ethanol are currently around the break-even point. I thought ethanol was pointless when I lived on the east coast. Now that I live near the corn & beans, the policies you suggest will enrich my neighbors. But it likely won't help much with the environment, unless there are some breakthroughs in second generation biofuel production processes and process-scaling. There are reasons to hope the policies you suggest MIGHT work in the future, but it certainly wouldn't do much today. Building a high speed rail network would be a more effective way to move California (and the USA) towards a reduced fossil fuel use.
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