It is interesting to note that the CARB
's refusal to compromise on their plans come at a time when California
is reeling from devastating supply shortages
due to a long-term neglect of rising electricity
current imports over 20% of its electricity
from neighboring states. The CARB
insists, without basis, that their decisions would not have an impact on supply problems, even as Gray Davis
is refusing to construct new power plants in California
The board's decision also ignores scientific fact. David Hermance, executive engineer of environmental engineering at Toyota Technical Center at Gardena California, stated: "The board's action doesn't repeal the laws of economics or physics.". ZEV's are hideously expensive and there is no market for them, not even the 2% that the CARB demands. The only way the CARB standards can be satisfied is with massive subsidization, and that would require a huge hike in taxes.
Technological barriers prevent cost-effective ZEV's, specifically the battery. Over the years automotive engineers have tried many different technologies including advanced lead acid, nickel iron, lithium ion, sodium sulfur, zinc nickel oxide and nickel-metal hydride. But not one can satisfy the three demands of energy density, longetivity and quick recharge times. To manufacture affordable EV's, battery costs must be lowered to $150 per kWH (U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium). Currently, nickel-metal hydride, the most promising technology, costs around $1,000 per kWH, or around $30,000 per battery pack.
The CARB caved in the environmental lobbies and insisted on impossible standards. Currently, automakers plan to circumvent the standards by selling low-usage ZEV's such as golf carts and tour trains, even though they will be sold at a 50% loss, while waiting to present technological testimony to the CARB in an effort to repeal the economically impossible decrees.