Environmentalists hope the California Air Resources Board or CARB listens to their pleas and saves the electric car. The agency is set to vote on a plan Thursday that reduces the number of pure, zero emissions electric vehicles carmakers have to sell over the next few years by 90-percent from 25,000 to 2,500.
Chelsea Sexton, Plug-In America: "They are, indeed, doing what automakers have asked for. Automakers have submitted a letter of their own, even asking for less than 10%, but certainly arguing that the fewer cars they're required to do the better."
"I love driving this car."
The Air Resources Board already reduced the requirement once before because electric technology wasn't progressing as fast, particularly with the rise of hybrids. If the Air Resources Board approves the reduction, it could hurt the new, all-electric roadster that went into production just this month. The Silicon Valley-based Tesla Motors has already pre-sold 1000 and wants CARB to keep other carmakers in the game.
Diarmuid O'connell, Tesla Motors: "The market will not grow as fast as we want it to grow. We seek competition. We're leaders in this space, and we can profit by greater competition."
The Air Resources Board denies bowing to pressure from automakers. It just wants to leave room for other technologies like hydrogen and plug-in hybrids to develop, considering where pure electric vehicles are today.
Leo Kay, Ca Air Resources Board: "Frankly, we're finding that alot of them aren't quite there yet. They're a little too expensive and we want to set realistic goals."
While a small electric SUV is in the $40,000-range, the Tesla is nearly $100,000.