California bends but doesn’t yield on ZEVs

Daniel Sperling, a University of California-Davis professor and a member of the Air Resources Board, is pushing hard for a bigger emphasis on plug-in hybrids, though some of his colleagues on the board think any solution that involves using gasoline is inadequate. Sperling argued at the May hearing that hybrids with large batteries could run on electricity 80 to 90 percent of the time, while using gasoline for long road trips only. If they’re also more palatable to car buyers, he said, they actually could reduce California’s air pollution faster than pure EVs. “The goal should be to strengthen the ZEV program,” he added. “I agree that we can get more vehicles out there, but they might not be the vehicles we thought they would be a few years ago.”

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