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USA: Opinion: Clean vehicles move California forward

Henry Ford and Horace Dodge sued in 1904 to stop a vehicle registration law that they said gave an unfair advantage to the horse-drawn carriage.

Fast forward to 1973, when GM warned that extending California-style emissions requirements to the rest of the nation raised “the prospect of an unreasonable risk of business catastrophe and massive difficulties with these vehicles in the hands of the public.” And yet, since then, vehicle ownership in America has expanded and become increasingly affordable.

So don’t be surprised by any echoes of the past, as California gets ready to update its clean vehicles program.

The California Air Resources Board, or CARB, is about to consider the most significant improvements to the state’s zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) program since it was created. If adopted later this month, California will be on track so that, by 2050, 87 percent of passenger cars on our roads will be powered by batteries or fuel cells.

Far from being a burden on business, California’s early embrace of cleaner cars gave the state a leg up on everyone else. By sparking the state’s innovative spirit, it is encouraging companies such as ours to lay down roots and employ people here.

Brand-new companies are manufacturing or assembling zero emission vehicles right here in California. Others are cost-effectively creating energy rich batteries



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