Every now and then you come across an article that gives terrific
insights to what is going on. In this article, we get an excellent
overview of the California initiatives and how they have led to today's
mixed bag of efforts in electric vehicles, hybrids and hydrogen
California to Rule On Fate of EVs By Peter Fairley
First Published November 2007
Regulators rethink electric-drive options
. . . [/quote]
We've heard about GM crushing their EV vehicles and Honda "shredded"
theirs. Apparently, only Toyota had the good sense to leave their EVs
available to the owners. The reason why:
[quote]. . .
The regulation's downfall came in 2003 when the mandate, set to come
into full force, was instead derailed by a GM-led lawsuit. The industry
litigants argued that CARB's incentives for gasoline-sipping hybrids
showed the ZEV mandate was regulating fuel efficiency, a power granted
to the federal government. The board settled the suit by giving
automakers a way out. Instead of making thousands of battery EVs each,
automakers could embark on an industry-wide effort to commercialize
fuel-cell vehicles, . . .
The Big 6—DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota—lost no
time getting to work on fuel cells, and they are on schedule to produce
the fuel-cell cars promised for next year.
But with the emphasis on fuel cells, carmakers were free to give up on
their battery EVs, and all but Toyota did so. By 2003 the Big 6 had
built about 4400 battery EVs under the ZEV program. Most were recalled
and crushed (in Honda's case, shredded) after the court settlement.
. . .[/quote]
So instead of live and let live, let's run an endurance program for
these EV vehicles, the manufacturers, including Honda, with rare
exception, trashed the vehicles that might have given them insights to
what works and doesn't work over the long term. GM Lutz is quoted as
saying crushing the EV1s was his worst mistake, I agree.
One way out was to produce fuel cell vehicles only 'Reality' has a vote
in that decision:
[quote]. . .
Automakers want more time, and more credits, for fuel-cell technology.
The vehicles just aren't ready: according to an independent review
released by CARB in April, fuel cells remain 20 times as expensive as
combustion engines and last as little as three years, hydrogen storage
tanks are inadequate, and hydrogen fuel stations are nonexistent. . . .
You can lie about it but you can't fool physics, chemistry and the free
market value of things. This is why, barring some way to make a candy
bar into a fuel cell, I don't buy into the 'hydrogen fraud.' But now the
100 car fuel cell 'pilot' experiment from GM makes sense:
[quote] . . .
The board settled the suit by giving automakers a way out. Instead of
making thousands of battery EVs each, automakers could embark on an
industry-wide effort to commercialize fuel-cell vehicles, beginning with
the demonstration of just 250 fuel-cell cars by 2008, with more to
follow. . . .
Overall, this is an excellent read and gives terrific insights to the
history of EVs, hybrids and the 'hydrogen fraud.' An excellent read, it
brings clarity to what otherwise would appear to be a fragmented,
The wild car in everything is Toyota realized they couldn't make enough
Prius hybrid electrics. They are finding out that the hybrid Camrys are
ever bit as popular with 1/3d of the Georgetown KY plant output being
hybrids (along with a quality problem of their hydro-mechanical,
automatic transmissions.) A good read, I recommend it for the insights.