Plug-in hybrids in California

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The Chevrolet Volt is the top selling plug-in hybrid in California and the U.S. Shown charging in a public charging point in Fremont, California.

California has been a leader in the promotion of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). California is the largest U.S. car market and also the leading plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market in the country with about 40% of all new PEVs sold nationwide during 2011 and 2012, while the state represents about 10% of all new car sales in the country.[1] The Governor of California, Jerry Brown, issued an executive order in March 2012 that established the goal of getting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California roads by 2015.[2][3] In September 2014, the Charge Ahead California Initiative set the additional goal to have at least 1 million zero-emission vehicles and near-zero-emission vehicles in California by January 1, 2023.[4]

As part of the state's government incentives, in addition to the existing federal tax credit, plug-in hybrids are eligible for a US$1,500 purchase rebate.[5] Also the first 70,000 applicants that purchase or lease a PHEV meeting California’s Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (Enhanced AT PZEV) are entitled to a green clean air sticker that allows the vehicle to be operated by a single occupant in California's carpool or high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV).[4][6][7]

As of March 2015, almost 143,000 plug-in hybrids have been sold in California.[8][9] The market share of PHEVs in the state climbed from 0.1% of new car sales in 2011 to 0.9% in 2012 to 1.2% in 2013, and reached 1.6% during 2014.[8] During the first quarter of 2015 the share fell to 1.1%.[9] As of early June 2015, a total of 45,829 plug-in hybrid owners have benefited with the state's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), representing 42.5% of all clean vehicle rebates issued since January 2011.[10] By early March 2014, and based on CVRP's databse, the counties with the highest adoption of plug-in hybrids in the state are Los Angeles (8,015), Orange (3,622) and Santa Clara (3,080).[10] As of January 2014, California leads the country with 5,749 public charging points, representing 26.7% of the U.S total.[11]

Charging infrastructure[edit]

Public charging stations in a parking lot in San Francisco.

As of March 2013, the United States had 5,678 charging stations across the country, a third of which were located in the three westernmost continental states. Deployments are led by California with 1,207 stations (21.3%), Texas with 432 stations (7.6%), Florida with 352 (6.2%), Washington with 326 (5.7%), and Oregon with 310 stations (5.5%).[12] As of October 2013, there were 378 DC quick charging stations across the country.[13] As of 21 January 2014, the United States had 21,548 public charging points available across the country, with California leading with 5,749 charging points (26.7%), followed by Texas with 1,704 (7.9%), Washington state with 1,412 (6.6%), and Florida with 1,064 (4.9%).[11]

Government incentives[edit]

Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid converted by CalCars with a fuel economy of over 100 miles per gallon exhibited at the Maker Faire 2008, San Mateo, California.

Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order in March 2012 that established the goal of getting 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in California by 2015.[2][3] In addition, in September 2014, Governor Brown signed a bill, the Charge Ahead California Initiative, that sets a goal of placing at least 1 million zero-emission vehicles and near-zero-emission vehicles on the road in California by January 1, 2023. He expects the initiative will help the state to reach the initial goal set for 2025.[3][4]

California's ZEV regulation was first adopted in 1990 as part of the Low Emission Vehicle Program, and it has been modified several times over the years. The ZEV program is under the responsibility of the California Air Resources Board (CARB).[14] The program goal is to reduce the pervasive air pollution affecting the main metropolitan areas in the state, particularly in Los Angeles, where prolonged pollution episodes are frequent.[15]

Purchase rebate[edit]

In addition to the federal tax credit of up to US$7,500 depending on battery size,[16] California established the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) in order to promote the production and use of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including plug-in electric and fuel cell vehicles. The program was created from Assembly Bill 118 that was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger in October 2007. The funding is provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and the project is expected to go through 2015.[17]

Besides a US$2,500 federal tax credit, the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid is eligible for an additional US$1,500 rebate in California.

Eligible vehicles include only new California Air Resources Board-certified or approved zero-emission or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. A list of eligible vehicles can be found on the California Center for Sustainable Energy web site.[18] Among the eligible vehicles are neighborhood electric vehicles, battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell vehicles including cars, trucks, medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and zero-emission motorcycles. Vehicles must be purchased or leased on or after March 15, 2010.[17][19] Initially, the CVRP offered rebates of up to US$5,000 per light-duty vehicle, available for individuals and business owners who purchase or lease new eligible vehicles.[17][19] Once the initial funding was exhausted, the program offered a lower rebate of up to US$2,500.[20]

As of March 2014, the following six plug-in hybrids are eligible for a US$1,500 rebate in California: Cadillac ELR, Chevrolet Volt, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi, Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid, and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.[5] Only 2012 Volts manufactured after February 6, 2012, and later model year, are fitted with the low emission package that qualifies the plug-in hybrid as qualify as a California AT-PZEV.[21]

As of early March 2013, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) reported that 9,559 all-electric vehicle and 8,842 plug-in hybrid owners had applied for the state's Clean Vehicle Rebate since January 2011. However, about 2,300 Chevrolet Volts were sold in California before the Volt became eligible for the rebate in February 2012, and therefore, are not accounted in the CVRP database. According to these figures plug-in hybrid electric vehicles were outselling pure electric vehicles in California by early 2013.[22][23]

In addition to a US$7,500 federal tax credit, the 2012 and later model year Chevrolet Volts qualify in California for the US$1,500 CVRP rebate and since February 2012 have free access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes.

As of 10 March 2014, a total of 52,264 clean vehicle rebates had been issued, for a total of US$110,222,866 disbursed, with only US$3.8 million remaining for fiscal year 2013-2014. The distribution of the rebates issued correspond to 27,210 zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs); 24,657 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs); 49 commercial zero-emission vehicles (CZEVs); 210 zero-emission motorcycles (ZEMs); and 138 neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs). Not all plug-in electric vehicles sold in California are captured in the CVRP database because not every PEV owner applies for the rebate. As of 8 June 2015, and without accounting for the 2,300 Volts sold before February 2012, plug-in hybrids represented 42.5% of the 107,855 clean vehicle rebates issued, while BEVs represented 56.9% of all rebates, and fuel cell vehicles represented 0.1% of the rebates issued. In terms of funding, plug-in hybrids have captured 30.1% of the total US$227,972,074 funded by early June 2015.[10]

The Ford C-Max Energi qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to US$3,750, and an additional US$1,500 CVRP rebate in California.[24]

As of April 2014, the CVRP was facing an estimated US$30 million funding shortfall for the 2013-14 fiscal year, and uncertainty about increases for the 2014-15 fiscal year. CARB staff presented a proposal to the board to overcome the funding shortage and also to facilitate the rebates to benefit buyers in disadvantaged communities who live in areas with bad air quality or who can’t afford high-end electric cars. The options being considered were to reduce the rebate by US$500 and to set a US$60,000 cap to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the vehicles, which would exclude the Cadillac ELR and the Tesla Model S from benefiting from the rebate.[25] A bill signed into law in September 2014, mandated the California Air Resources Board to draft a financial plan to meet California's goal of putting 1 million vehicles on the road while making sure that disadvantaged communities can participate. For this purpose CARB has to change the Clean Vehicle Rebate program to provide an extra credit for low-income drivers who wish to purchase or lease an electric car. CARB also should provide assistance to carsharing programs in low-income neighborhoods and install charging stations in apartment buildings in those communities. Under bill SB 1275, low-income residents who agree to scrap older, polluting cars will also get a clean vehicle rebate on top of existing payments for junking smog-producing vehicles.[4]

The following table presents the geographical distribution of the rebates by county and by type of vehicle (ZEV or PHEV) for the top 15 counties.[10] Based on the CVRP database, Southern California is the leading region in plug-in hybrid adoption, with over 15,200 rebates issued for PHEVs, while the San Francisco Bay Area has benefited with over 7,200 rebates. The top five counties in the state by early March 2014 are Los Angeles (8,015), Orange (3,622), Santa Clara (3,080), San Diego (1,563), and Alameda (1,552).[10]

California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP)
beneficiaries by county with over 500 rebates issued as of 10 March 2014[10]
County Total
rebates(1)
ZEVs
(BEV/FCV)
PHEVs(2) Rebate
funding
% State
Top counties Southern California
Los Angeles 14,420 6,277 8,015 $29,117,973 27.6%
Orange 6,182 2,537 3,622 $12,109,099 11.8%
San Diego 4,659 3,060 1,563 $10,827,189 8.9%
Riverside 1,308 501 804 $2,512,933 2.5%
Ventura 1,083 488 593 $2,214,494 2.1%
San Bernardino 943 337 604 $1,780,950 1.8%
Top counties SoCal 28,595 13,200 15,201 $58,562,638 54.7%
Top counties San Francisco Bay Area
Santa Clara 7,735 4,630 3,080 $16,957,252 14.8%
Alameda 3,870 2,291 1,552 $8,354,469 7.4%
San Mateo 2,123 1,419 657 $4,865,466 4.1%
Contra Costa 1,951 985 959 $4,027,554 3.7%
San Francisco 1,082 681 371 $2,557,025 2.1%
Marin 845 536 305 $1,907,300 1.6%
Sonoma 781 450 325 $1,695,800 1.5%
Top counties Bay Area 18,387 10,992 7,249 $40,364,866 35.2%
Other top counties
Sacramento 1,062 634 427 $2,272,609 2.0%
Santa Cruz 542 330 204 $1,193,900 1.0%
Total Top 15 counties 48,586 25,156 23,081 $102,394,013 93.0%
Total California(3) 52,264 27,210 24,657 $110,222,866 100%
Notes:
(1) Total includes ZEVs (both BEVs and FCVs), PHEVs, CZEVs, ZEMs and NEVs. (2) About 2,300 Chevrolet Volts sold in
California before the car became eligible for the rebate in February 2012 are not included. (3) Not all plug-in electric vehicles
sold in California are captured in the CVRP database as not every PEV owner applies for the rebate.

HOV access[edit]

Several BMW i3s with California's HOV lane access stickers. The i3 with range-extender has the green sticker while the pure electric i3 displays the white sticker.

In California a vehicle that meets specified emissions standards may be issued Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) decals that allow the vehicle to be operated by a single occupant in California's high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV), or carpool or diamond lanes. All-electric vehicles are classified as Federal Inherently Low Emission Vehicles (ILEVs), and as zero emissions vehicles are entitled to an unlimited number of white CAV stickers. The green CAV stickers are available to the first 70,000 applicants that purchased or leased cars meeting California’s Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (Enhanced AT PZEV) or Transitional Zero-Emission Vehicle (TZEV) requirements. Plug-in hybrids qualify as Enhanced AT PZEV.[4][6][26] The number of green stickers available was increased from 40,000 to 55,000 in July 2014,[6][7] and raised again in September 2014 to 70,000.[4] Initially, the green and white clean air sticker were set to expire on January 1, 2015, but in 2013 the expiration date for both stickers was extended to January 1, 2019.[7][27]

California's green Clean Air Vehicle sticker

The number of green clean air stickers issued grew from about 10,900 in March 2013 to 28,739 by the end of 2013.[28] As a result, by mid March 2014 the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspended the program allowing new car dealers to purchase and install green CAV stickers on eligible vehicles before they are sold. The DMV decided to reserve all remaining green stickers from the original 40,000 limit for individual consumer applications.[29] As of 9 May 2014, the initial 40,000 green stickers were issued.[7] The green sticker limit was increased by 15,000 beginning July 1, 2014, through the budget trailer bill SB 853.[7][30] In September 2014 Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill AB 2013 that raised the cap for the green stickers from 55,000 to 70,000 new plug-in hybrids.[4] As of June 2015, a total of 68,343 green stickers had been issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).[7] In June 2015, the bill AB 95 was approved by the State Legislature raising the upper limit from 70,000 to 85,000 green stickers, and it is awaiting Governor Brown’s signature by July 1, 2015.[31]

The San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission opposed the bill to expand the green stickers on the grounds that they "are concerned about further erosion of HOV lane capacity to vehicles that are neither reducing the number of trips on the road nor paying a toll. With congestion levels shooting up again, especially in the prosperous South Bay of the region where the purchase of such vehicles is more likely, we do not believe it is appropriate to give access to the region’s HOV lanes or express lanes away for free."[32]

Market outlook[edit]

Comparison of annual sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States versus California between 2010 and 2014.[33][8]

Sales and market share[edit]

California, the largest United States car market, is also the leading plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market in the country with about 40% of all new PEVS sold nationwide during 2011 and 2012, while the state represents about 10% of all new car sales in the country.[1] As of March 2015, a total of 71,633 plug-in hybrids have been sold in California, representing 50.1% of the 142,886 plug-in electric cars sold in the state since 2010.[8][9] Sales increased from 97 units in 2010, to 1,662 in 2011 to 14,103 in 2012, and reached 20,633 in 2013.[9] Sales during 2014 totaled 29,949 plug-in hybrids, and 5,189 units during the first quarter of 2015.[9] The market share of PHEVs in the state climbed from 0.1% of new car sales in 2011 to 0.9% in 2012 to 1.2% in 2013, and reached 1.6% in 2014. During the first quarter of 2015 fell to 1.1%.[9] In 2013 all-electric cars outsold plug-in hybrids. The market share of all-electric vehicles in 2013 was 1.3%, up from 0.4% in 2012.[9] However, this trend reverted in 2014, with plug-in hybrids slightly outsolding all-electrics, but both segments achieved the same market share (1.6%). During the firs quarter of 2015, all-electrics (1.7%) outsold plug-in hybrids (1.1%).[9]

As of mid 2013, 52% of American plug-in electric car registrations are concentrated in five metropolitan areas, two of which are in California: San Francisco and Los Angeles. The others are Seattle, New York and Atlanta.[34] California is the leading Chevrolet Volt market and accounted for almost 23% of Volt sales during the second quarter of 2012, followed by Michigan with 6.3% of national sales. The leading regional markets in California are San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, all metropolitan areas notorious for their high congestion levels and where free access to high-occupancy lanes for solo drivers has been a strong incentive to boost Volt sales in the state.[35] According to a Navigant Research report published in April 2014, the Los Angeles metropolitan area is the world's largest PEV city market.[36]

Future trends[edit]

The Chevrolet Volt is the top selling plug-in hybrid in California. Shown at the San Francisco Peninsula Coastal Range.

According to a 2011 study by Pike Research, annual sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S. were predicted to reach 360,000 vehicles by 2017. The study projected that the highest sales between 2011 and 2017 would take place in California, New York and Florida.[37] In 2012, and as sales have fallen short of projections, Pike Research projected that annual sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S. will reach 400,073 units in 2020, with California as the state with the highest PEV sales over the remainder of this decade, with nearly 25% of all PEVs sold in the United States between 2012 and 2020. In terms of market share, California will be followed by New York, Florida, Texas, and Washington, but Hawaii is expected by 2020 to have the highest penetration rate of PEVs as a percentage of all light duty vehicle sales. California is predicted to have four of the top ten metropolitan areas for PEV sales: Los Angeles–Long Beach, San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, and Greater Sacramento. Pike Research forecasts that cumulative sales of PEVs in the largest 102 American cities will reach more than 1.8 million from 2012 through 2020, with a share of more than 25% of all annual sales concentrated in the top five metropolitan areas for PEV sales: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland.[38][39][40]

In a report published in April 2014, Navigant Research forecasts that the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the largest PEV city market in the world, will have over 15,000 PEV sales in 2014, and its PEV stock will grow from over 36,000 in 2014 to over 250,000 by 2023. Navigant predicts annual PEV sales in the Greater Tokyo Area will surpass Los Angeles by 2020, and Tokyo is expected to become the world's largest PEV city market with a PEV stock of around 260,000 in 2023.[36]

Organizations[edit]

CalCars[edit]

Main article: CalCars
Lithium-ion battery pack, with cover removed, in CalCars' plug-in hybrid converted Toyota Prius, called PRIUS+.

CalCars (also known as The California Cars Initiative) is a charitable, non-profit organization founded in 2002 to promote plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) as a key to addressing global warming both nationally and internationally. CalCars envisions millions of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, charged by off-peak electricity from renewable energy sources, and with their internal combustion engines powered by low-carbon alternative fuels, as a way to significantly reduce greenhouse gases that come from transportation.

In September 2004, the California Cars Initiative (CalCars) converted a 2004 Toyota Prius into a prototype of what it called the PRIUS+. With the addition of 130 kg (300 lb) of lead-acid batteries, the PRIUS+ achieved roughly double the fuel economy of a standard Prius and could make trips of up to 15 km (9 mi) using only electric power. The vehicle, which is owned by CalCars technical lead Ron Gremban, is used in daily driving, as well as a test bed for various improvements to the system.[41]

RechargeIT[edit]

Main article: RechargeIT

RechargeIT is an effort within Google.org, the charitable arm of Google, that aims to reduce CO2 emissions, cut oil use, and stabilize the electrical grid by accelerating the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles.[42]

The program began in 2007, and by 2010 Google's Mountain View campus has 100 available charging stations for its share-use fleet of converted plug-ins available to its employees through a free car-sharing program.[43][44] Solar panels are used to generate the electricity, and this pilot program is being monitored on a daily basis and performance results are published in RechargeIT website.[44] In addition to the data collected for two years when the converted plug-ins were driven by Google employees, RechargeIT set up a controlled test using plug-in converted Ford Escape Hybrids and Toyota Prius. The results of the seven-week driving experiment showed an average fuel economy of 93 mpg average across all trips, and 115 mpg for city trips.[42][44] Consistently the converted Prius obtained a higher mileage than the Ford Escape.[44]

Electric utilities[edit]

PG&E[edit]

PG&E is converting a number of company-owned Toyota Prius to be V2G PHEVs at Google's campus.

Southern California Edison[edit]

Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally said he expects Ford to sell plug-in hybrids in five to ten years, the launch date depending on advances in lithium-ion battery technology. Ford will provide Southern California Edison with 20 Ford Escape Hybrid sport utility vehicles reconfigured to work as plug-ins by 2009, with the first by the end of 2007.[45]

PHEV Research Center[edit]

Main article: PHEV Research Center

The PHEV Research Center in the University of California, Davis, administered by ITS-Davis, was launched in 2007 with fundings from the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program.

Its goals are to provide technology and policy guidance to the state, and to help solve research questions and address commercialization issues for PHEVs.

San Francisco Bay Area[edit]

Several plug-in converted hybrids at the public charging station in front of San Francisco City Hall.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Oakland, California Mayor Ron Dellums announced a nine-step policy plan for transforming the Bay Area into the "Electric Vehicle (EV) Capital of the U.S."[46] and of the world.[47]

There are partnerships with Coulomb Technologies, Better Place, City Carshare,[48] Zipcar and others are also advancing. The first charging stations went up in San Jose.[47]

By early 2010, San Francisco and other cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, as well as some local private firms such as Google and Adobe Systems, already have deployed charging stations and have expansion plans to attend both plug-ins and all-electric cars.[43]

Plug-in Conference[edit]

CalCars participates in the Plug-in Conference, co-sponsored by California's utilities, the Electric Power Research Institute, and Silicon Valley Leadership Group.[49]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b California Energy Commission (2013-03-01). "California Energy Commission awards $4.5M to ARB for more clean vehicle rebates". Green Car Congress. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  2. ^ a b Staff (2012-03-23). "Governor Brown Announces $120 Million Settlement To Fund Electric Car Charging Stations Across California". Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Retrieved 2014-09-22. 
  3. ^ a b c Marisa Lagos (2014-09-22). "Brown signs several clean-air vehicle bills". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-09-22. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy (2014-09-21). "Gov. Jerry Brown signs bills to boost purchases of electric cars". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-09-21. 
  5. ^ a b Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) (March 2014). "Eligible Vehicles". California Center for Sustainable Energy. Retrieved 2014-03-26.  The Fisker Karma is not eligible for the rebate. The BMW i3 with range extender option has not been certified by the ARB as of March 26, 2014. Only after it is certified the ARB will evaluate its eligibility to participate in CVRP.
  6. ^ a b c California Department of Motor Vehicles (March 2014). "Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) Decals - High Occupancy Vehicle HOV Lane Usage". DMV California. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
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  9. ^ a b c d e f g h California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) (May 2015). "New Light Vehicle Registrations in California Should Approach Two million units in 2015" (PDF) 11 (2). CNCDA. Retrieved 2015-06-21.  Registrations through March 2015 since 2011. Revised figures for 2014.
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  11. ^ a b U.S. Department of Energy (2014-01-21). "Total Alternative Fueling Station Counts (Public and Private Stations)". Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC). Retrieved 2014-03-23.  The AFDC counts electric charging units or points, or EVSE, as one for each outlet available, and does not include residential electric charging infrastructure.
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  24. ^ Sebastian Blanco (2012-07-25). "Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid priced at $33,745; or $29,995 after tax credit *UPDATED". Autoblog Green. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
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  29. ^ Eric Loveday (2014-03-19). "As Green HOV Stickers Dry Up, California DMV Reacts By Denying Dealer Pre-Registrations of Plug-Ins". InsideEVs.com. Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
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  40. ^ Pike Research (2013-01-21). "More than 1.8 Million Plug-In Electric Vehicles Will Be Sold in the Largest 102 U.S. Cities From 2012 to 2020". Pike Research. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
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  49. ^ "Plug-In 2009 Agenda and Signup Info: Long Beach August 10-13". Calcars.org. 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 

External links[edit]