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Selling out: The real reason automakers want you to buy electric

Selling out: The real reason automakers want you to buy electric

By JOHN D. STOLL from "AutoWeek"

Th!nk City garners more than green goodwill.
Wanna buy a gas-sucking high-performance roadster? If you live in California, donít be alarmed if youíre offered a roadworthy golf cart to go with it.

Under the California Air Resources Boardís highly controversial zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) mandate, automakers have to sell more than 8000 electric vehicles in California by the end of 2003 to avoid major penalties on bread-and-butter gasoline-powered vehicles. But thereís more than one way to skin a cat, or cart.

CARB spokesman Richard Verenchik says that in addition to electric versions of popular gas vehicles, such as the electric Ranger and RAV4 EV that Ford and Toyota sell to park patrols and government fleets in California, automakers can meet the ZEV quota by selling street-legal short-range, low-speed (up to 35 mph) electric vehicles.

Ford and Chrysler, both of which own electric vehicle subsidiaries, are spending millions to woo buyers to their odd-looking two- and four-passenger electric Th!nk and Gem golf cart-like vehicles aimed at low-speed transport, typically in and around gated communities. Nissan is also piloting an effort to sell its Hypermini, a small two-seater capable of 65 mph. Missouri-based Lafayette County Car Co. begins production of two- and four-passenger electrics this month that it plans to market to GM, among others.

If sales are successful, companies marketing electrics could satisfy their ZEV quotas and have something else to sell: surplus electric vehicle credits to other automakers trying to meet the ZEV mandateóso they can sell more gas-guzzlers without paying a penalty.

My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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