California orders automakers to sell more zero-emission vehicles (ZEV)

Article by Christian A., on May 30, 2012

Starting this year, the state of California is requiring the largest carmakers to sell more "zero-emission vehicles," or ZEVs, like pure-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-powered vehicles. Automakers who fail to reach the sales quota stands to not gain the ZEV credits required to meet clean-air rules. Those who fail to achieve the quotas could purchase ZEV credits from other carmakers who exceeded their targets, like Nissan Motor Co.

Nissan has remarked that it may sell credits earned in the past two years from its Leaf plug-in, which is regarded as the best selling all-electric vehicles in the United States.

According to Andy Palmer, Nissan’s executive vice president, the company is in a “fortunate position” of having positive credit, it is “exploring some plans,” to sell them. In a June 2010 filing with US SEC, Tesla Motors Inc. said it had sold ZEV credits to Honda Motor Co. and another automaker. The new regulations are affecting vehicle sales in 11 other states – including New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts -- that follow California's rules.

Government regulators expect the six largest auto manufacturers to sell a combined 60,000 ZEVs in 12 states through 2014, and a cumulative 1.4 million units by 2025. Carmakers gain credits for zero emission vehicles in those other states to meet the requirement based on their sales in California. Carmakers that failed to earn ample credits may face fines or limitations on their ability to sell cars.

The smallest detail can still produce an incredible result.

Nissan LEAF's front styling features a crisp, upright V design with long, upward slanting LED headlamps that use a blue internal reflecting design that proclaims, "This is a special car." But the headlight design doesn’t just make a statement, their design smartly splits and redirects air to flow away from the door mirrors, which then reduce wind drag and noise. And, the headlights are also beneficial because they use only 10 percent of electricity that conventional lights do. This helps the Nissan LEAF reach world-class range efficiencies.

With brightly coloured trimmed interiors, Nissan LEAF presents a lovely and sophisticated ambiance. An eco-friendly blue-earth palette comes from the LEAF’s introductory model’s Aqua Globe colour. This palette permeates the interior with blue highlighted dashboard and instrument lighting.


The Nissan LEAF uses a select modern IT system. With connections to a 24-hour global data centre, it offers information, support, and entertainment all day and night.

A monitor mounted to the dash displays the LEAF's available power as well as the location of charging stations nearby.

Another advanced feature allows mobile phones to be used to turn activate air-conditioning and control charging, even if the LEAF is not in power. An on-board timer can be controlled remotely and pre-programmed for battery recharging.

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