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Calif. May Soften Zero-Emission Vehicle Regulation

October 16, 2014

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is considering easing the requirements on five automakers for the amount of zero-emission cars they must sell in the state for the 2018-2025 model years.

The board will meet on Oct. 23 and vote on staff-reccommended changes to a 2012 regulation that established sales volumes for so-called "intermediate vehicle makers" (IVMs) of zero- and partial-emission vehicles such as battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The intermediate OEMs include Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsibishi, Subaru, and Volvo. These brands sell between 4,501 and 20,000 vehicles per year in the state.

The intermediate automakers have argued that their smaller size makes it more burdensome to produce battery-electric vehicles.

As part of the proposed changes, the intermediate automakers could meet the targets with plug-in hybrid vehicles, which are known as Transitional Zero-Emission Vehicles under the regulation.

Mitsubishi unveiled a PHEV concept version of its Outlander SUV at the Paris Auto Show, and Volvo has said it will produce a PHEV version of its redesigned XC90 luxury mid-size SUV. Mazda and Subaru haven't announced plans to offer a plug-in hybrid.

Read the full text of the proposed changes here.

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