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US states gang up for clean cars

2013-10-25 10:41

POWER PLAY: Eight American states have linked up to enable the easier creation of EV, hydrogen and hybrid vehicles to "refuel" with minimum fuss.

Staff writer

SACRAMENTO, California - The governors of eight American states - among them super-green California and New York - have agreed to  create a network of battery-charging stations to get 3.3-million zero-emission vehicles on their highways by 2025.

The stations will, it was reported, also cater for hydrogen fuel-cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles and the meeting was told there would be more than 200 000 "zero emissions" cars in the US by 2015.

The other states were named as Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont which together have just under a quarter of the US vehicle market. According to US Bureau of Transportation, in 2009 there were about 254-million registered passenger vehicles in the US so the "zero-emission" car park will comprise only about 0.01% of the national total.


However, the AP report said automakers "applauded the agreement as an important step toward getting consumers interested in these technologies". Worries over such vehicles' range has curbed demand; indeed, a BMW Mini recently driven by Wheels24, fully charged, was capable of only about 150km.

Dan Gage, a spokesman for the US Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and representing 12 automakers, among them Toyota and GM, said: "Up to this point there’s been a lack of consumer interest and a lot of that has to do with investment in infrastructure."

It's something South Africa will have to do if it wants to encourage the wider use of battery cars, especially given the size of our country and the distances between towns.

The AP report, as published in the Detroit News, said the agreement did not require specific financial commitments from each state; instead "they vowed to work together to smooth building codes and other regulations in a way that will allow the quick roll-out of charging stations".

Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, said: “The idea is to make it easier for customers to operate and use zero-emission vehicles. This in turn will help pave the way for the success of the auto industry."

That industry, it's reported, has a choice of 16 zero-emission vehicles from eight manufacturers, nine of the full-electric, two using hydrogen fuel-cells and five which are hybrids capable of running on batteries and/or conventional engines.
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