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Today the California Air Resources Board Listened to Converters

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  • Felix Kramer
    In this week of unprecedented change in Washington, we can also report progress in Sacramento at the agency that is most responsible for the future of PHEV
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 23, 2009
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      In this week of unprecedented change in Washington, we can also
      report progress in Sacramento at the agency that is most responsible
      for the future of PHEV conversions -- whose rules are precedent for
      many other states, watched by all others and the federal government,
      and closely tracked by the auto industry. Here's our statement:

      (Shortly after it goes out on email, this posting will also be
      viewable at http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html -- there you can
      add CalCars-News to your RSS feed.)

      We're very pleased to report that at today's California Air Resources
      Board hearing, the CARB Board decided to take another look at the
      implications for the aftermarket conversion industry tof proposed
      staff regulations for PHEVs. (See our previous postings at
      http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html .) In a move with very
      positive implications, CARB took action to keep alive the possibility
      that an industry of converters of both hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles
      can grow and flourish, helping to reduce greenhouse gases in cars
      that are on the road, creating new local jobs, and further motivating
      the auto industry to mass-produce plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.

      Board Members showed they had read the testimony and proposals
      submitted in advance, and listened carefully to those who testified.
      Members repeatedly cited the issues raised by companies and
      advocates. They spoke in highly complimentary terms about the
      positive past impact of conversions in motivating the auto industry
      to build PHEVs, and also about the strategies and proposals made by
      CalCars and others to address the regulatory issues. Veterans of past
      CARB hearings on plug-in vehicles who had been expecting bad news
      said they were very encouraged by today's actions.

      The Board detached the aftermarket conversion issues from the general
      test procedures for new PHEV manufacturers and then approved the
      latter. For retrofitters, the Board Members directed its staff to
      review options for rules that would promote innovation and foster new
      business and job formation. The ball is once again in the court of
      the aftermarket companies, their allies and potential customers, who
      now have some weeks or months to respond fully and develop workable
      solutions with the staff.

      We'll have a fuller report and comments as soon as we can. Meanwhile,
      we owe a tremendous thanks and all our appreciation to the Board
      Members who agreed in a unanimous voice vote to keep the process open
      for additional input. Six of eleven members were in attendance: Mary
      D. Nichols, Chair; Daniel Sperling, Automotive Related Member; Ken
      Yeager, Bay Area AQMD Member; Dorene D'Adamo, Law Member; Sandra
      Berg, Public Member; John G. Telles, M.D., San Joaquin Valley APCD
      Member (see http://www.arb.ca.gov/board/members.htm for profiles).
      Primarily speaking for the staff were Executive Officer James
      Goldstein and Chief Deputy Executive Officer Tom Cackette, who echoed
      the desire to promote innovation.

      Our thanks also to all of you who sent in comments and suggestions,
      and to those who showed up and testified.

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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