Of all the fuel economy regulations, possibly in the world, those of California are the most strict, which is why electric vehicles [EV] like the Tesla Model S and Fiat 500e are such a great idea.
CEOs of regular automobile companies that produce EVs aren’t as convinced that those regulations are very fair. California Air Resources Board [CARB] regulations, for example, requires that a certain percentage of vehicles sold in the state must be zero-emissions vehicles [ZEV]. Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors has no problem meeting this requirement, because their only model, the Tesla Model S, is a ZEV. Tesla Motors actually made $68 million last year just on ZEV credits.
Conventional automakers are having a tough time meeting this requirement profitably, and CEOs of General Motors and Chrysler [majority stake owned by Fiat] have admitted that they lose money on every sale. Interestingly, the Fiat 500e is so far only available in California, obvious CARB fodder, but why is it being produced at a loss? Tesla Motors seems to be profitable and they produce only EVs.
Mr. Marchionne, if you want to do business in California, the biggest automobile market in the US, then you’ll have to play by the rules. Every race has certain requirements, and California’s automobile market happens to require vehicles that produce zero emissions.
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says that continuing to produce the Fiat 500e at a loss is pure masochism and asserts that CARB regulations favor EVs over all other ZEV technology. My question is, what other options are there? Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are wildly expensive, kinetic energy recovery systems are, well, expensive, and wind-up cars are still a little too small to get around in, or are they?