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California Regulators Want 1.4 Mil Zero-Emission Vehicles on Road

CARB wants to cut CO2 emissions on gas models by half.

by on Dec.13, 2011

New California rules would put as many as 1.4 million zero-emission vehicles, like this Mitsubishi battery car, on the road.

The California Air Resources Board has released a new set of policies aimed at cutting vehicle pollution, guarantee consumer access to clean fuels and “foster” the development of zero-emission car technology. The major changes in policies will apply to new vehicles sold through 2025.

The new plans includes the most significant changes to the Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) program in its 20-year history—requiring battery, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to account for 1.4 million new vehicle sales in the state between 2018 and 2025,pushing carmakers to increase the introduction of vehicles with alternative powertrain technology. The rules are certain to prove controversial.

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The Clean Fuels Outlet (CFO) rules would require oil companies to install hydrogen refueling stations as automakers ramp up sales of fuel cell vehicles, ensuring consumers have access to fuel for these vehicles. The CFO also requires California to study infrastructure needs for vehicles that recharge from the electric grid. By 2025, California’s plan calls for a 75% reduction in smog-forming emissions from new cars and light truck tailpipes, the near elimination of evaporative emissions, and a reduction in toxic particulate matter.

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Hydrogen Power Holding On As Hyundai Prepares to Launch Fuel Cell Vehicle

But battery power dominating.

by on Dec.20, 2010

Hyundai plans to launch commercial production of a hydrogen vehicle, like this Tucson IX, by 2015.

Remember the future?  It was supposed to be hydrogen-powered.  At least that was what energy and auto industry leaders were saying for most of the past decade or so.  That was before everyone’s attention turned to lithium-powered battery cars.

Suddenly, hydrogen — and the fuel cell vehicles it was supposed to power — has dropped from the headlines.  But not from the highway.  Despite the attention being lavished on battery power, these days, and the hefty incentives being ladled out by both Washington and plenty of governments abroad, fuel cell technology is alive and well and still very well could become the truly clean and efficient technology of the future.

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Just ask Hyundai or Daimler AG.  Both automakers have made it clear they’re not giving up on hydrogen power in recent days.

The Korean maker is broadly hinting that it could bring a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to the U.S. as early as 2012, a model that it suggests would look like a downsized version of the Mercedes R-Class crossover/van.

That would likely be a test program, but the maker has also said it plans to begin commercial fuel-cell vehicle, or FCV, production by 2015.

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