A California bill that would have made the state’s mandates for zero-emissions vehicle adoption stricter during the next decade was withdrawn late last week because of opposition from the oil industry, unions, and, of course, automakers, Reuters says. Assemblywoman Autumn Burke had been pushing for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to legislate that at least 15 percent of new vehicles sold in the state would have to be emissions-free by 2025. Burke said the one-week deadline to move the bill through the legislative process was too short.
The state had already set a goal in 2012 to have 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles on California’s roads by 2025. Two years later, California began heading what’s called the Multi-State ZEV Action Plan. That program, which also included Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, set a goal to have a collective 3.3 million zero-emissions vehicles on those states’ roads within the next decade.
The issue with Burke was that the state’s current program allowed some automakers to skirt the issue by buying zero-emissions credits instead of making the necessary cars. And she’s not alone, says the San Francisco Chronicle. Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk has joined environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council in the assertion that the 1.5-million-vehicle goal for 2025 is a pipe dream. Meanwhile, Tesla’s revenue from zero-emissions credits sales totaled $57 million in the first quarter, though the electric-vehicle maker didn’t disclose second-quarter figures.
While California accounts for almost half of the country’s plug-in vehicles, fewer than one percent of California’s registered vehicles are of the plug-in variety. To that end, CARB plans to discuss potential tweaks to the state’s zero-emission goals towards the end of the year.