Small Automakers Forced By California To Make Plug-in Hybrids

When it comes to zero emissions vehicles the state of California will bend its rules for smaller automakers, but only a little.

Environmental regulators in California have decided that even small automakers will have to comply with clean-car rules that mandate the sale of zero-emission vehicles, but has adjusted the rules to allow plug-in hybrid vehicles to earn credits for smaller automakers.

Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Volvo have all pleaded with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to be exempted from the mandate, saying that their small R&D budgets prohibit them from developing and selling electrified vehicles as easily as other automakers including Ford, GM and Nissan.

The board’s decision will allow the five smaller automakers, all of which have less than $40 billion in annual global revenue, to have the option of selling plug-in hybrids to earn credits towards compliance, rather than being forced to sell all-electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. If the automakers aren’t able to sell enough, they will still need to purchase credits from automakers such as Tesla, that sell electric vehicles in large numbers.

The state could still tweak its rules following a midterm review next year.

Automotive News

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