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State Quotas for Zero-Emission Cars

March 28, 2003

Re "Hold to Zero-Emission Rule," editorial, March 24: I applaud The Times for encouraging the California Air Resources Board to hold strong on its zero-emission vehicle mandate. When we glide our new electric Toyota RAV4-EV past gas stations, we rejoice in no longer contributing one dime to the oil despots.

I disagree, however, with your opinion that electric vehicles are "niche" cars. My old gasoline car was the niche car -- it sat in the garage until I got rid of it. If you think a 100-mile range is limiting, check your odometer each morning; I think it will be enlightening. Electric vehicles versus gasoline? It's like kerosene lamps versus electric light bulbs.

Robert Seldon

Santa Monica

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Regulations that cannot be met undercut the credibility of public authority. It is an exercise in futility to try to prescribe market outcomes. Vehicle market share is determined by price and performance, and no amount of bureaucratic wishful thinking can make it otherwise. Battery-powered vehicles are a technological dead end. Car makers have ample economic incentive to refine hybrid and develop fuel-cell vehicles.

No court decisions are needed for the California Air Resources Board to know that its original zero-emission vehicle rule is unworkable, and there is no reason for the board to delay adjustments in its rule.

James E. Moore II

Los Angeles

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