SACRAMENTO, CA – California regulators have drastically cut the number of zero-emission vehicles required to be sold in the state by the year 2014, a decision that frustrated environmentalists but came as a relief to auto manufacturers, according to The Associated Press.
The rules adopted put the number of electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles that automakers sell in California at 7,500 by 2014 — a 70 percent reduction from the 2003 target. The board cut the number of zero-emission vehicles it wants on state’s roads, while at the same time offering an alternative: the gas-electric hybrids.
Auto manufacturers said they could not meet the California standard and needed more time to make affordable hydrogen and battery-powered cars. The other manufacturers that must comply with the rules are General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Chrysler LLC, and Nissan Motor Co.
The decision is expected to affect 12 other states that had adopted California’s target for zero-emission vehicles.
The air board said the six largest automakers must sell nearly 60,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles in California while they develop the more advanced technology that will allow mass production of pure zero-emission vehicles.