Electric cars are set to arrive far more speedily than anticipated
THE high-pitched whirr of an electric car may not stir the soul like the bellow and growl of an internal combustion engine (ICE). But to compensate, electric motors give even the humblest cars explosive acceleration. Electric cars are similarly set for rapid forward thrust. Improving technology and tightening regulations on emissions from ICEs is about to propel electric vehicles (EVs) from a niche to the mainstream. After more than a century of reliance on fossil fuels, however, the route from petrol power to volts will be a tough one for carmakers to navigate...Technology will have as much impact as politics. Vehicles that carmakers are forced to produce for the sake of the environment will become ones that buyers want for the sake of their wallets.
Auto executives want Trump to roll back clean-air standards. Can California stand in their way?
The automakers’ initiative is just one of several attacks aimed at loosening federal clean-air regulations. All are likely to run up against a brick wall erected by California, the only state that has explicit permission from the feds to set its own emissions standards. These not only have been more stringent than those issued from Washington, but have been matched to some extent by more than a dozen other states. The state’s rule calling for zero-emission cars to represent 15% of sales by 2025 has been adopted by nine other states. Those 10 states together account for one-third of all auto and light-truck sales in the U.S., helping to spur electric-vehicle programs at Ford, GM, Volkswagen and other manufacturers.