Under the board’s original requirements, carmakers had to produce 25-thousand emission free vehicles by the year 2014. Those are cars that run on electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. After a day-long hearing, the board voted to sharply reduce that to either 75-hundred fuel cell vehicles or around 12-thousand battery-powered cars.
The group was originally considering even further reductions but Chairwoman Mary Nichols rejected that plan.
“The companies have been clinging to the past for a long time and it’s time to be moving on and I think pushing them to make a bigger investment than they’ve been wanting to do is the right thing to be doing…”
The auto industry has said it needs more time to develop the expensive technology. Environmentalists and supporters of these vehicles were critical of the board’s move. Some said it appeared to be a victory for automakers and in the face of global warming the requirement should be strengthened.