While national demand for electric vehicles hasn’t been what government leaders had hoped, California is pressing forward and forcing more companies to start selling plug-ins. Among those companies that have to make an EV soon are Mazda and Subaru.
According to Automotive News, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has ruled midsized automakers cannot be exempted from the state’s zero-emissions vehicle mandate and need to introduce some sort of compliant vehicle by 2018.
As well as Mazda and Subaru, Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi and Volvo fall into this category. Mitsubishi has already been marketing the i-MiEV electric since 2012, but will also add the long-delayed Outlander PHEV next spring. Volvo has the 2016 XC90 with its T8 plug-in hybrid variant coming in October. Even JLR is rumored to be adding an electric version of the F-Pace crossover sometime around 2018.
But Mazda and Subaru have little in the pipeline to satisfy the ZEV mandate. In both cases, tie-ups with Toyota may be the solution in the form of partnering with fuel cell or plug-in hybrid technology. Which means Mazda and Subaru are likely to sell those cars only in California, rather than try to push them across the country.
Still, if you live in California, the next few years should yield some interesting offerings for cars with alternative powertrains.