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California’s relentless push for EV adoption has created “compliance cars,” forcing many automakers to at least dabble in the new technology over the past decade.
In 2014, then-Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne joked that he didn’t want people to buy an electric Fiat 500e “because every time I sell one it’s going to cost me $14,000.”
But California’s EV vision isn’t without its critics, and it’s now paying off with record sales.
The bigger question is how the nation’s largest new car market will achieve 100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2035, and how many states will follow.
Nearly 15 percent of California’s new car registrations in the first quarter came from battery-electric vehicles, with sales of hybrids 11 percent higher, according to data cited by the California New Car Dealers Association.
In the first three months of the year, Tesla sold more cars than any other automaker except Toyota, the association said.
Electric vehicles have become so popular that there are often long queues at charging stations on holiday weekends like July 4th. Even new and rare EVs like the Rivian R1T pickup and Lucid Air sedan aren’t uncommon on the Golden State Freeway.
But meeting all of the state’s mandated EV goals by 2035 will not be easy.
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