Silver lining: CARB creates huge new market for plug-in hybrids

Reader reaction to last week's California Air Resources Board vote to cut the ZEV Mandate by 70 percent was pretty resoundingly negative (although it's only fair to note some of you said the result was a good thing). Automotive News' Richard Truett has written an article that finds the decision's silver lining: it created a "sizable" market for plug-in hybrids. While pure EVs took a hit in the revision, automakers are now required to sell 66,000 PHEVs between 2012 and 2014. Considering you can't buy a single one today, this would be a nice change. Truett notes that Chrysler, Honda and Nissan could be face "major headaches" to comply with the rule, since they don't have any PHEVs in development. At least, there are no public plans for such vehicles from these companies. Smart grid PHEV charging technology is here, at least in testing form. What plug-in vehicles will we Californians (and people in the dozen or so states that adopt California's auto rules) be able to buy in 2012?

[Source: Richard Truett / Automotive News]

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