California and the electric car. Is this deja vu all over again? You probably know the story of the first round of electric vehicles made for the California market, and then their demise over a decade ago. You may not recall it was action by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that allowed the big auto manufacturers to stop makking those early electric cars. The makers had only LEASED the electric cars so they re-possessed them from crying drivers and had them crushed.
Well, now CARB has once again rescinded a ruling that looked like it would have forced electric cars onto California roads. They've made the auto industry happy by cutting the once stringent anti-pollution standards for coming years. They have thus infuriated the environmental, pro-electric car folks. Pluginamerica, Sierra Club and others are now urging the California legislature to take action to set tougher air pollution standards.
Meanwhile, CARB (does it strike you as ironic that CARB is amost "carbon?" as in carbon footprint?) will be requiring large numbers of plug-in hyrbids on the road in California over the coming years.
R. James Woolsey, former CIA director, took this position as he supported a recent appeal to California's government to get behind electric vehicles: "Relying on foreign oil leaves us deeply vulnerable as a country, so the availability of plug-in vehicles is of paramount importance to national security. As the birthplace of the modern electric car, California should be leading the way.”
Unlike the last time electric cars were abandoned by CARB, there are how companies like Fisker and Tesla trying to make a business out of just making electric vehicles. Big auto manufacturers are no longer plasying this game among themselves.