Environment Forum

MINI leases not good enough for some electric car champions

Sometimes, even electric vehicles aren’t good enough for the die-hard green car set.

An electric car advocacy group on Tuesday criticized California’s influential air quality regulator, the California Air Resources Board, for allowing BMW’s one-year pilot program of electric Mini Coopers to earn the same credit towards the state’s clean vehicle program as standard production cars.

California is requiring that automakers, collectively, put 7,500 zero-emissions vehicles, or ZEVs, on its roads.

But Plug In America on Tuesday said there is a “gaping loophole” in the program that “could deal a blow to the proliferation of plug-in vehicles.”

Specifically, the group targeted BMW’s leasing program of 500 electric Mini Coopers, which it calls MINI Es.

California climate chief has global warming plan

California looks ready to get the go-ahead to regulate greenhouse gases from cars, after President Obama on Monday told the EPA to reconsider a Bush administration refusal. California’s top climate official, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols, last week predicted the okay would be ready to go by May. In the attached video, from the interview last week, she talks about California’s grand plans, which are the most aggressive in the United States.

For Reuters full environment coverage, check our stories here.

California takes leap of global warming faith

California is either about to bankrupt all its businesses, or it’s unleashing a green revolution.

Either way, it took a big step toward cutting greenhouse gases on Thursday, when its top air quality regulator, the California Air Resources Board, passed a scoping plan. That sounds deadly dull, we know, but it has excited a lot of people because it means specific targets are being set by the largest U.S. state in the midst of the worst economy almost anyone living has seen.

Some businesses fear they won’t be able to survive the costs. Some feel California will be economically reborn. Check out our story, and don’t be afraid to go to the CARB site and check out the plan itself, along with economic analysis and more.