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Captain Hybrid

Slideshow: Why California Matters to the EV Market

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naperlou
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fuel economy standards are the way to go
naperlou   2/25/2014 11:24:53 AM
Cap'n, this is the second time California has done this.  Remember the first electric vehicle mandate?


In the Wall Street Journal today there is an article about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  You have also written about them.  I assume that they would meet the zero emisson mandate.  One thing about fuel cell vehicles that would mitigate range anxiety is that you could have a hydrogen refuelling truck that could be called if you run out.  With electrics, there is no real option for changing batteries in the field.  That could change, but that is a complete redesign and the truck will never be as simple as a refuelling truck.

All of this is silly, of course, if people do not buy.  The real answer is to set targets and let the market decide.  I would rather see the CAFE standards, which have a real impact.  There are about 255M registered passenger vehicles in the US.  You mention in your article a goal of 3.3M electric vehicles in 2025.  Assuming the number of vehicles are flat in that time, that is about 1.33% of vehicles with zero emissions.  If you cut fuel use by the fleet by 2%, you would have a bigger impact.  In addition, the reality is that these zero emission vehicles are not really zero emission.  The electricity had to come from somewhere, and most of that burns fossil fuels. 

Charles Murray
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
Charles Murray   2/25/2014 12:08:33 PM
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Yes, naperlou, fuel cells would meet the zero-emission mandate. California is giving seven credits per car to Honda's FCX fuel cell vehicles, whereas the Nissan Leaf only gets three per car delivered. The question is, how many fuel cell vehicles will actually be sold?

far911
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
far911   2/26/2014 7:18:35 AM
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Is it , i really believed that Nissan Leaf is ahead of other vehicles.

mr88cet
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
mr88cet   2/26/2014 9:16:09 AM
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Yeah, I'm kinda surprised that, at very approximately 3X the price, the Tesla Model S has sold nearly the same as the Nissan Leaf.  Then again, ~3X range for the Tesla, and Tesla has quite a few 35-minute, 80%-charge stations at strategic places around the country.  That, plus whoever designed the styling of the Leaf's body must have been on drugs or something...

ChriSharek
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
ChriSharek   2/26/2014 9:49:54 AM
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I agree with you completely.  The S is gorgeous; the Leaf looks buck-toothed.

far911
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
far911   2/26/2014 9:56:44 AM
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Mate just wait for BMW I-3 and I- 8. I m sure it will change your mind.

mr88cet
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
mr88cet   2/26/2014 10:04:08 AM
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Plus, although I've never driven a Nissan Leaf (yet!), I have test-driven a Tesla Model S, and its performance - especially acceleration - is off the charts!

mr88cet
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
mr88cet   2/26/2014 12:49:18 PM
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(Also Tesla's ~35-minute, 80%-charge stations are free-of-charge, I'm told!)

ChriSharek
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
ChriSharek   2/26/2014 9:46:45 AM
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@far911:  Ask any Leaf owner in Florida - air cooled lithium ion batteries aren't cutting it!  Unless this design flaw is changed, they are on a path that leads to a reduced battery life as well as performance (range). 

far911
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
far911   2/26/2014 9:53:07 AM
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Ya my latest research shows u r absolutely right. But I guess 2014 with 13 new launches will be a different year for EV.

Charles Murray
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
Charles Murray   2/26/2014 9:57:24 AM
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Yes, far911, it's surprising that the Tesla Model S gets seven credits, while the Leaf only gets three. Here's a list of the California credits per vehicle, as of late 2013:

Tesla Model S (85 kWh battery)........7 credits

Honda Clarity FCX........7 credits

Tesla Model S (60 kWh battery)........5 credits

Mercedes Benz F-cell........5 credits

Nissan Leaf.........3 credits

Chevy Spark........3 credits

Toyota RAV4 EV........3 credits

Ford Focus EV........3 credits

Honda Fit EV........3 credits

Smart fortwo electric drive........3 credits

Fiat 500e........3 credits

Mitsubishi i-MiEV........2.5 credits

Scion IQ EV........2 credits

 

far911
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
far911   2/26/2014 10:02:33 AM
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Charles it a great comparison.It Wil certainly help the consumers to choose the best. Great stuff and appreciate this one.

Pubudu
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
Pubudu   2/27/2014 2:24:20 PM
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Charles nice illustration, What I find on hat is all the main car manufactures has taken the step for the EVs. 

Charles Murray
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
Charles Murray   2/26/2014 9:58:07 AM
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Yes, far911, it's surprising that the Tesla Model S gets seven credits, while the Leaf only gets three. Here's a list of the California credits per vehicle, as of late 2013:

Tesla Model S (85 kWh battery)........7 credits

Honda Clarity FCX........7 credits

Tesla Model S (60 kWh battery)........5 credits

Mercedes Benz F-cell........5 credits

Nissan Leaf.........3 credits

Chevy Spark........3 credits

Toyota RAV4 EV........3 credits

Ford Focus EV........3 credits

Honda Fit EV........3 credits

Smart fortwo electric drive........3 credits

Fiat 500e........3 credits

Mitsubishi i-MiEV........2.5 credits

Scion IQ EV........2 credits

 

naperlou
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
naperlou   2/26/2014 10:40:44 AM
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far911, you should watch the Top Gear episode where they drove a Leaf and a Peugot electric "to the shore".  It took a long time.

ChriSharek
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
ChriSharek   2/26/2014 9:52:59 AM
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@Charles Murray - Thanks again for all that you do and these articles.

I would argue that fuel cells are only changing the fuel we'll need to use - so we pump hydrogen instead of gasoline.  We'd need to retrofit our entire pumping infractructure across the globe and somehow in conjunction with the adoption of these vehicles.  That will NEVER work. 

And the fuel cells do nothing but create electricity anyway!  Why not just rely on the existing infrastructure that exists in our homes, at our work, and everywhere!  Electricity is simply the most cost effective alternative that can be deployed NOW! 

patb2009
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
patb2009   2/28/2014 11:26:20 PM
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I think Hydrogen fuel cells will be a dead end,  and a poor investment.

 

Battery Tech, Battery Performance, Battery charge rates, Battery Discharge rates,

Battery Energy Density, Battery Cost are all racing forward,

Tesla has demonstrated a nationwide 100 KW charger network and is demoing

250 KW chargers and battery swap systems.  

 

 

RogueMoon
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Platinum
California infrastructure woes
RogueMoon   2/26/2014 9:29:47 AM
Some California laws are full of wishful thinking. The realities of what infrastructure can be afforded and deployed in time to support a massive EV fleet on the roads will likely rein this thinking.  California is having a hard enough time getting the high-speed rail project.  Now they want to have an EV rapid-charging station on every block?  This is what it will take to make a limited range EV work for drivers.  It's not range anxiety, it's just being practical about what an EV can and can't do.

It's pretty clever using the cap-and-trade approach forcing major automakers to fork over $ to Tesla and any other EV maker (if there is one?).  This keeps Tesla in business for making a product that isnt selling big numbers.   If the pressure gets too high and their taking too many losses on EV's that aren't selling, major automakers will simply offer fewer vehicles for sale in CA and people will have to buy them second-hand or go to NV or AZ.   The AZ auto dealers are in for some brisk sales in a few years!

Turbineman
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Re: California infrastructure woes
Turbineman   2/26/2014 10:56:08 AM
"The AZ auto dealers are in for some brisk sales in a few years!"

Ah....the Glorius Peoples' Republic of Kalifornia has that covered.  If the AZ or NV vehicle does not have the required emissions equipment, you get to pay a hefty up-front fee for the "priviledge" of driving it in the state. My son-in-law found a job in Kalifornia and moved here from Wisconcin.  Of course his 10 year old vehicle didn't have the required equipment, so he had to pay a $300.00 fee.

Bunter
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Re: California infrastructure woes
Bunter   2/26/2014 11:46:20 AM
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Hi Rouge.

I am with you on the idea that manufacturers will reduce their participation in the CA market.  They won't simply charge more-the vehicle will not sell.  If the market is not profitable to be in they will leave.  Ass the cost of transportation increases more people will leave.  Jobs will leave.

Very short sighted.

 

Dennis

ChriSharek
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
ChriSharek   2/26/2014 9:48:55 AM
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@naperlou:  AAA is already offering an emergency charge if your EV runs out.  No need to change the battery.  If Tesla can install solar chargers that charge to 80% in a 1/2 hour, certainly the technology exists.  No need for battery swapping in the field.

Pubudu
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
Pubudu   2/27/2014 2:17:37 PM
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ChriSharek , What if the vehicle get stuck in the night, Do they have to wait till the morning. 

patb2009
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Re: fuel economy standards are the way to go
patb2009   2/28/2014 11:34:47 PM
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Lou

 

sometimes regs are technology forcing.

 

And what you deride as the "Failed California Initiative of the 1990s"

produced the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight.  

 

Toyota hopped on that bronco and now they sell over a million Hybrid

synergy drive vehicles per year, and it's their top seller.

 

California is now trying to force that again onto all manufacturers.

 

if they succeed the the world will be better

ChriSharek
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CA leading the Charge!
ChriSharek   2/26/2014 9:45:02 AM
Being a native Floridian, I hate when California beats us at ANYTHING!  but, they don't have much of a choice with their air pollution issues.

Other than the Model S, the Volt is the most practical and best looking vehicle of the bunch - no wonder it sold more than anyone! 

mr88cet
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Re: CA leading the Charge!
mr88cet   2/26/2014 9:57:24 AM
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Just FWIW, 2-3 years ago, Consumer Reports estimated cents per mile for various EVs.  That, based upon average gasoline and electricity prices in the US, at the time.  If I remember correctly, the numbers were something like: 

Leaf:  3.5 cents/mile

Volt:  5 cents/mile on electric, 14-15 cents/mile on gas

Prius (regular, non-plug-in Prius, not C or V):  7.8 cents/mile.

Comparably-sized pure-gasoline car:  11-13 cents/mile (lot of variation from model to model).

ChriSharek
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Re: CA leading the Charge!
ChriSharek   2/26/2014 10:03:58 AM
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Those numbers jive exactly with my actual costs in my Volt over 42000+ miles.

~3 cents when I'm driving electric

~10 cents when I'm driving on gas (@ 37 MPG)

~4 cents on average (85% on electricity and 15% on gas)

And clearly the ZEV credits are based on the size of the battery - which is why the Leaf only gets 3 while the Tesla has severl.

mr88cet
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Re: CA leading the Charge!
mr88cet   2/26/2014 10:06:32 AM
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That sounds considerably better than what Consumer Reports claimed, at least assuming I remember it correctly.  Good to hear!

mr88cet
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Re: CA leading the Charge!
mr88cet   2/26/2014 9:58:07 AM
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Just FWIW, 2-3 years ago, Consumer Reports estimated cents per mile for various EVs.  That, based upon average gasoline and electricity prices in the US, at the time.  If I remember correctly, the numbers were something like: 

Leaf:  3.5 cents/mile

Volt:  5 cents/mile on electric, 14-15 cents/mile on gas

Prius (regular, non-plug-in Prius, not C or V):  7.8 cents/mile.

Comparably-sized pure-gasoline car:  11-13 cents/mile (lot of variation from model to model).

Davek3gau
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What Happens if?
Davek3gau   2/26/2014 10:10:45 AM
So the states bully the auto manufacturers into building all those ZEV.  OK, so what happens if the public doesn't buy them for some reason (price, inconvience, etc)?   The states won't reach their targets, the auto manufacturerers will have lots full of unsold vehicles and go bankrupt.  What then?  Another round of government bailouts?  Manufacturers practically giving the ZEVs away? What?  The public just can't win!

Charles Murray
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Re: What Happens if?
Charles Murray   2/26/2014 10:34:53 PM
That's the real question, Davek3gau. Notice the comment in the story from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers: "You can mandate supply, but you cannot mandate demand." As he suggests, I think California would have to revisit the whole idea. So would Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, Vermont and whatever other states adopt this measure.

Bunter
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Re: What Happens if?
Bunter   2/27/2014 9:25:40 AM
Hi Charles,

You hit the bullseye with this quote "You can mandate supply, but you cannot mandate demand."  It really sums the issue up very neatly.

Even with a lower price this year the Volt (which seems a neat little car) saw it's sales stagnate.  With the exception of Tesla the market was not encouraging. 

I remember when the retro Ford Thunderbird came out the demand was very high.  Then it crashed hard.  By the time the Chevy SSR came out everyone that wanted a retro-cool ride had one and it was a flop (I like the SSR better, it was late to the party).

The market was hot, but not very deep.  No legs.

I suspect that the current market, for the range/price/utility mix possible with current technology (and the tech probable in, say, the next ten years), may be saturating for EVs. 

It may not be a sustainable market at this point. Not deep.  No legs. (Cue ZZTop)

Cheerio,

Dennis

BRedmond
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Re: What Happens if?
BRedmond   2/28/2014 12:17:28 PM
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"You can mandate supply, but you cannot mandate demand."  They are threatening to fine manufacturers if they can't convince customers to buy ZEVs.  Commenters have suggested that it could drive manufacturers to sell at a loss or leave the California market.  In a story about the Tesla "Gigafactory," it was indicated that the result would be a "mass market" vehicle with a price tag in the $30-$40k range.  I would really like to pay less than that for my next car.  If I can get one with an ICE for less, then that's what I'll buy.

Also, range limits are real.  My commute is 5 miles one way; very doable with an EV.  However, my work takes me throughout the DC metro area and throughout the Mid-Altantic at times.  Personally, I live in suburban DC and my family is in suburban Philly.  Do they really think that I'm going to buy a car that forces me to make a stopover to recharge?  The other "green" alternative would be to spend hours longer riding Metro to Union Station, Amtrack to 30th St. Station and then the Paoli Local to the burbs, where I would need a ride to my destination.  Not happening.

g-whiz
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Let the market decide
g-whiz   2/26/2014 11:05:23 AM
I'm tired of Kaleefornya (aka, the pinheads in Sacramento) telling me what I can and can't do or buy. It's no wonder there is a mass exodus of people, jobs and opportunities leaving CA. <If> I purchase an EV vehicle, it must be affordable because it will be a second car. Don't expect people to swallow a $40,000 price tag for a limited range vehicle. I can buy a brand new Nissan Versa for $12,000 that will take me anywhere I need to go. Offer me a little 2 seater EV coupe with a 40 mile range for $10,000 and now we may have something attractive to potential buyers.

Charles Murray
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Re: Let the market decide
Charles Murray   2/26/2014 10:28:09 PM
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G-whiz, you've touched on an issue I've wondered about for a long. I, too, wonder who other than wealthy early adopters would buy a $40,000 second car. Most of the people who I know use a klunker as their second car for trips around town.

danharres
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Re: Let the market decide
danharres   2/27/2014 8:56:07 AM
g-whiz,

 

Agreed.  California thinks it's being cool and hip, but what it really is is a bunch of little Nazis trying to get everyone to conform to their "progressive" attitude.  People vote with their feet.

LetoAtreidesII
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Platinum
Just another Tax.
LetoAtreidesII   2/27/2014 11:57:42 AM
What will most likely end up happening is the Auto companies will have to sell these vechiles at a loss to get enough people to buy them and then make up for it on the other models.  Just as goverment always does it will be a hidden tax on those of us that do not conform to the will of the almighty rulers.  When will the plebes in California finally get this through their skull?

Can we Kick a state out of the Union< Just asking?

GTOlover
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Re: Just another Tax.
GTOlover   2/27/2014 1:17:37 PM
No need to kick them out of the union if they would enforce current immigration laws. Besides, high speed rail will be the ticket when the politicians determine that the zero emissions requirements are not being met and carmakers are restricted on selling ICE vehicles.

Bunter
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Re: Just another Tax.
Bunter   2/27/2014 2:17:04 PM
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Probably can't kick CA out-but it is interesting that more folks are mulling the concept of secession than at any previous time in my 54+ orbits of the glowing gas ball.

Gee, wonder if the NSA is checking in.

 

Dennis

Bunter
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Re: Just another Tax.
Bunter   2/27/2014 2:25:18 PM
Right about the hidden taxes also.

Print money, drive inflation, everybody pays more, govt does better(ish).  Poor and middle class hardest hit.

Legislate to drive up energy costs. Blame "Big Oil".  Poor and middle class hardest hit.

Funny how the chaps claiming to be for "the little guy" often pursue policies that cost the poor the most (but are not easily traceable to the politician like a per se tax is).  Are they stupid, cynical or all of the above (I pick all of...).

 

Chuckle,

Dennis

Charles Murray
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Re: Just another Tax.
Charles Murray   2/27/2014 7:29:01 PM
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Bunter, you're right that the poor aren't getting much from this at the moment. The logic behind it is to drive production volume up, so that automakers can benefit from economies of scale, and ultimately sell electric cars to the masses. The problem is that history tells us that it's difficult to put EVs on such a schedule.

CharlesM
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Just a grammar nit, Mr. Murray
CharlesM   2/28/2014 11:00:09 AM
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California says it won't let big automakers flaunt the law. 

I think you mean flout, not flaunt.

Charles Murray
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Re: Just a grammar nit, Mr. Murray
Charles Murray   2/28/2014 6:49:06 PM
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Thank you, CharlesM. You are correct.

Charles Murray
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Prius, Insight
Charles Murray   3/4/2014 5:59:43 PM
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I'm not terribly conversant with the history of CARB and its relationship to the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, but I know that both of those cars started in Japan, and then were brought over to the U.S. At the time, I don't believe CARB had a program for partial ZEVs (PZEVs), only for pure electric cars, which means that neither of those vehicles would have qualified for credit. To be sure, I called Honda, and spokesman Chris Martin told us that the Insight was not a product of California legislation. "We marketed it nationwide," he said. "If it was simply a means to achieve a credit, we more than likely would have marketed it only in California."

Bunter
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Re: Prius, Insight
Bunter   3/5/2014 7:31:03 AM
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Good thoughts Charles.

It does seem that the idea that customers might like an affordable, practical family car with the mileage of a motorcycle was enough to move on.

Chuckle. 

Dennis

PFStaats
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Iron
Mandates
PFStaats   4/26/2014 9:15:04 AM
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Wade Newton said, "You can mandate supply, but you cannot mandate demand."  Apparently he has not been paying attention.  This ship sailed with the Affordable Care Act. If we can be forced to purchase insurance policies with coverage that we don't want or need, then what prevents the government from doing that with cars?

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