Fuel cell and clean diesels gaining ground on plug-in EVs

Article by Anita Panait, on November 19, 2013

With carmakers and customers starting to shift to vehicles powered by environment-friendly power sources, regulators in the United States are mulling a modification of their rules that favor plug-in electric vehicles. President Barack Obama touted electric cars in his first State of the Union address and even provided $5 billion in US loans, grants and tax breaks just to boost their development.

His administration has even stopped loans for their development and has reversed moves to de-emphasize fuel cells. This comes as sales of plug-in EVs are on track to achieve half of Obama's goal. California -- one of around 10 states requiring carmakers to sell zero-emission vehicles -- mulls modifying its system of tradable credits to stop favoring plug-ins over hydrogen-powered cars.  That would help Honda Motor Co, but at the same time it could hurt Tesla Motors Inc.

Audi of America President Scott Keogh remarked that the government should not "pick technologies that they say or feel may be better." Keogh is seeking more favorable regulatory treatment for clean diesel. Under the current rules, carmakers selling vehicles in the US must double their vehicles' average fuel economy by 2025 -- a target considered impossible to achieve just by making improvements on the gasoline engine but is achievable through other power sources. 

Auto industry executives surveyed by Booz & Co. and Bloomberg LP expect vehicles powered by electricity and other alternative powertrains would account for 20 percent of sales by 2020 if the government continues its support. In the event the government stops its support for such vehicles, they would account for only 12 percent. In 2009, Obama set a target of 1 million electric vehicles plying US roads by 2015. So far, around 95,000 plug-in vehicles have been sold, according to Alan Baum, an analyst at Baum & Associates, adding that sales would hit 500,000 units in 2015.

If you liked the article, share on:


Login or Create new account to add a comment!


Many have been excited with the impending arrival of the next-generation Jeep Wrangler and the new 2019 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, which is slated to be the brand’s new range-topping model....
by - October 21, 2016
Chevrolet has taken the wraps off its new Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). Tagged as the most extreme fuel-cell-powered...
by - October 21, 2016
Honda has unveiled the fifth generation of its hot-selling SUV – the 2017 Honda CR-V. The latest iteration of the CR-V should help it maintain its benchmark status in the...
by - October 21, 2016
Many are already expecting BMW to launch an ultra luxurious SUV that will serve at its new flagship by late 2018. Larger than the X5 and X6, the new X7...
by - October 21, 2016
Most of you may have heard or already have one of those autonomous home appliances doing the house chores. Thus, it’s not anymore unusual to see a car going places...
by - October 20, 2016