California Lays Out ZEV Mandate For Smaller Automakers

JUN 15 2015 BY MARK KANE 25

The all-new Volvo XC90

The all-new Volvo XC90

Smaller automakers in the US are feeling the heat of the California’s ZEV mandate, which will force them to go for electrification in 2018 to comply with clean-car rules like the big carmakers (GM, Ford, Fiat/Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan…) must comply with today.

California Air Resources Board rejected an exemption of the mandate to companies with less than $40 billion in annual global revenue, though the Board did slightly ease the rules.

Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Volvo, which were trying to lighten or avoid the ZEV mandate as long possible, can be partially happy with the new rules laid out by CARB.

“Automakers with less than $40 billion in annual global revenue — which includes Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Volvo — now will have the option to sell plug-in hybrids only to earn “credits” toward compliance, rather than being forced to sell some all-electric or hydrogen cars. If they don’t sell enough, they’ll still need to buy credits from companies such as Tesla Motors Inc. that sell electric cars in large numbers. Tesla banked $51 million in the first quarter from selling ZEV credits to other automakers.

The small automakers said they were grateful for the changes, which would help them “meet the regulations with cars, not credits,” Clinton Blair, vice president of government affairs at Jaguar Land Rover North America.”

Plug-in hybrids? Well, for Mitsubishi and Volvo it should be easy as they already have the right models. Jaguar Land Rover probably has something in the works, while Mazda announced an alliance with Toyota that should result in a PHEV or two. We are not sure about Subaru, but probably they too could bring some plug-in car to market, as they’ve offered electric cars in Japan for years now.

Well, 2018 is still 2.5 years from now and the CARB rules will be reviewed next year ,so we probably shouldn’t draw conclusions yet.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: General

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25 Comments on "California Lays Out ZEV Mandate For Smaller Automakers"

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Is there a minimum electric range?

I personally think they should set the minimum range at 120 miles on a charge to be eligible for any benefits. It would help cut down on the car makers making a 50 or 40 mile EV and saying that will allow us to meet the minimum.

“I personally think they should set the minimum range at 120 miles ”

Why? I only drive 10 miles a day in my car. Carring 300lbs of extra battery around that i dont need is WORSE for the enviroment. 25 mile range is lots for a plugin hybrid.

At this rate, Toyota is going to wind up having to buy credits. They aren’t selling many Prius PHEVs anymore and I doubt they’ll sell enough Mirais to do them any good.

Toyota will petition to extend 9 credits per fossil fuel derived hydrogen car… guaranteed.

“Hey CARB, like we’ve been saying for almost 20 years, hydrogen is just around the corner… just cut us another advantage over the EV competition, and we promise we won’t ask again (at least not until we move out of state to Texas to stop paying California taxes)”

It would be very doubtful that CARB would modify rules established for 2018. While the article notes that the date is 2.5 years away, that number is WRONG. CARB uses MODEL year, not CALENDAR year for rules related to vehicle mandates. As we all know, the bulk of new model year vehicles are introduced in September and October each year. This gives most automakers a bit over two years to plan the necessary models. These cars have already been designed and scheduled for production by now. There can logically be no changes to the rules because this would impact plans already implemented by automakers.

As a former Subaru customer I would love to see them do a PHEV version of the Forrester or Outback. It doesn’t seem like they’re interested in diverging from their boxer engine roots though.

Those boxers do take up some space! At least with a battery pack on the floor, its centre of gravity may be the best if all PHEVs.

That’s just a best world scenario. I feel like Subaru, Mazda, etc would just not give two “shoes” on investing in a proper conversion like the XC90 T8 or Outlander PHEV.

I’d say they would just slap in a meager, low power (20-50bhp) motor for the torque converter and slap in a lump of cells (just to get a few miles) very poorly, affecting practicality. We’ve seen Mercedes do this to their flagship model!

I guess that’s what happens when the engineers are rushed to a deadline.

If Subaru’s ‘hybrid’ crosstrek is any indication, I wouldn’t have high hopes on a real PHEV. It will probably be bare minimum to get credits.


Where’s the Subaru Stella electric? I guess it never made it to market.

You do know that Subaru is partly owned by Toyota, right? You are now seeing a lot of Toyota’s DNA on Subaru’s vehicles.

Hence the good news – you are more like to see a FC Subaru than a EV Subaru (sarcasm).

For those curious, Toyota owns 16.5% of Subaru’s parent company.

looks like 2018 is when Plug-ins will become mainstream with a car in nearly every class(minus pickups and full sized suv). Also several price drops and range increases with a growing charging infrastructure hopefully apartments will begin to add charging also.

If an XC90 isn’t full sized what is? I dred to think.

How long will it be before there is a partnership with BYD?

The e6 could sell very well in the US for the right price with a little help with the styling and marketing. Maybe we could have a few 150+ mile EV’s by 2018. I’m not thinking Jag or Land rover but it could come in as a Mazda or Subaru.

Heck, the BYD Tang already looks like it could be a Subaru…. Just slap a Subaru logo on it like they do with the BRZ / Toyota Scion FR-S and cross-sell it.

I agree, if you look at the range of vehicles being sold across the globe now I think the CARB targets to look so insane anymore.

“….Don’t look insane…” ie look very achievable much like the eu target of 95 g/co2/km, which holland have almost already reached!

Maybe this will finally prompt Mitsubishi to make a version of the Outlander for the U.S. market.

However, I keep hoping for PHEVs with more electric range than the Volt… rather than far less.

Well, since they are heavier and less aerodynamic, you should really expect less electric range. But I would hope they can at least get a range of around 30.

I think 25 miles is a decent range for a PHEV. But you won’t get any argument out of me that more is certainly better, at least to a point. I don’t see much point beyond 80 miles of range in a PHEV.

Also worth mentioning that the Outlander PHEV has one trick up its sleeve that the Volt lacks, and that is DC fast charging!

I’ve always been in the camp that believed GM should add DC fast charging to the Volt, as an OPTION… I don’t want them to do anything to increase the base MSRP.

A V6 automatic 4X4 Outlander gets 23 MPG combined. It burns 650 gallons driving 15K miles per year.

A Toyota Prius gets 50 mpg combined, and burns 300 gallons a year.

Replace a gas Outlander with a short range PHEV Outlander, that drives around 40-50% of the miles on EV power, and you save around 300 gallons of gas.

Replace a Prius with a Volt that does 75% of the miles on EV power, and you save around 225 gallons of gas.

I want longer range PHEV’s too. But SUV buyers don’t buy subcompact, like the Volt. And SUV owners burn so much gas that even a PHEV that covers half their driving has around the same impact as somebody who drives small efficient cars does by buying a Volt.

Getting big SUV drivers into even moderate ranged PHEV’s is just so important, that keeping the price down by using smaller batteries is very much worth it.

A PHEV that drives 25 miles on electricity saves around as much gas as a subcompact that drives 50 miles on electricity. This is due to how bad the gas mileage is for an ICE SUV vs. a fuel efficient subcompact ICE car.

Agreed as a Volt owner!


Tesla vociferously opposed this rule change, but failed to persuade CARB. 🙁

Tesla even said “The problem . . . is not that the rules are too strict but that they are too lenient, with too many ZEV credits being made available to automakers.”

It’s all covered in the article below. It’s a very good read.

If the link leads to a pay wall, clear your cookies. I think Automotive News allows only one free story a day before putting up a pay wall, which can be circumvented by clearing your cookies.

“too many ZEV credits being made available to automakers.”

Automakers… like Toyota and Hyundai?