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California Modifies ZEV Mandate
By Green Car Journal EditorsIn 1996, The California Air Resources Board voted to give automakers a reprieve from implementation of the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate. If implemented on schedule in 1998, 5 percent of all cars offered for sale in the state by the seven largest automakers would have to emit zero tailpipe emissions. This represented the first time the regulatory agency had backed down in three decades of leading-edge emissions mitigation programs. Instead, an agreement with automakers required placing up to 3,750 advanced EVs on the road beginning in 1998. More…
CALSTART Showcase Electric Car
California aerospace companies applied their technology expertise in the CALSTART Showcase Electric Vehicle, which was used in an attempt to attract the attention, and the dollars, of auto companies looking to manufacture high-tech electric cars.
The Price of Electric Car Charging
In the mid-1990s as electric car designs were emerging, it became evident that a charging standards war was also brewing. GM had its elegant magnetic inductive charging paddle. Ford had its less costly conductive charger design. Neither appeared ready to back down.
Toyota RAV4 EV in Field Trials
The super-efficient Prius brought many new technologies to the market, but it didn’t do this alone. Substantial work conducted in Toyota’s RAV4 EV electric vehicle program years earlier paved the way with its many advanced electric drive technologies.
Nissan Electric Minivan Program
In the 1990s, Nissan leased a demonstration fleet of lithium-ion battery powered minivans with a 120 mile range. Why not a smaller and lighter electric car that could drive more than 200 miles between charges? A recognition that not everyone will drive small cars.
Honda to Lease EV Plus Electric Car
As Honda begins leasing its hydrogen FCX Clarity to fleets and consumers in limited numbers today, it’s interesting to look back at how this automaker handled the roll-out of a similar program with its EV Plus battery electric car back in the 1990s.
Driving The Precurser of the Toyota Prius Hybrid
Before the Prius was born, the Toyota Hybrid System was being developed in a nondescript Toyota sedan. Green Car editors drove this at Toyota’s Arizona proving grounds in 1997 and knew immediately that the electric drive field would change forever.
Tokyo R&D IZA Electric Car
Most news in the electric vehicle arena was made early on by the General Motors Impact prototype. As other automakers began picking up the pace in the race to build an electric car, activities were also taking place outside the automakers’ labs. One that stood out was Tokyo R&D’s IZA electric car.

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