Electric Cars: They'll Be Back!

California's 'Gubernator' pushes for greener transportation options as state readies to rule on the fate of electric cars.

Published: 14-Nov-2007

Phoenix Motorcars' battery-powered pickup truck seems, at first glance, like any other electric vehicle. But it has a trick up its sleeve: the truck's hefty 35-kilowatt-hour battery can recharge in a record 10 minutes flat—a feat that would ruin or even ignite most EV batteries.

Phoenix, a start-up in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., bets that rapid charging will eventually make battery EVs more popular with consumers by eliminating the threat of being stranded with a dead battery. But Phoenix is also counting on a more immediate payoff: the company may be eligible to cash in on California's ambitious and controversial zero-emissions vehicle mandate. The ZEV directive requires car manufacturers to market ultraclean and emissions-free vehicles or buy credits earned by others making such vehicles—credits that could translate into tens of thousands of dollars in extra income per vehicle for Phoenix.

“We're using the ZEV mandate as a tool to finance and progress our company,” says Bryon Bliss, Phoenix's vice president of sales and marketing.

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