Technology innovation and policy: a case study of the California ZEV mandate SyDNEy VERGIS AND VISHAL MEHTA
Introduction This chapter presents an analysis of California’s zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate in the context of the state’s low-emissions vehicle (LEV) and Clean Fuels regulation.1 The ZEV mandate began as a requirement that the automotive industry produce a specific volume of pure electric vehicles, but was modified over time to accommodate an evolving understanding about the status of zeroemission and low-emission technology development. Several factors make this study of California particularly relevant and revealing in relation to the United States and globally. California’s 38 million people make it by far the most populous state in the United States, accounting for about 12 per cent of the country’s population (US Census Bureau, 2009) (see Table 8.1). It is the largest state economy in the United States, and the eighth-largest in the world – in 2009 its GDP of $1,891 billion accounted for 13.4 per cent of the country’s GDP. Historically it has also had the dubious distinction of the worst air quality in the United States. In response, the state has developed and administered some of the country’s most aggressive emissions reduction programmes.