California may be the Golden State, but when it comes to the upcoming debuts of a number of battery-electric vehicles, prospective buyers may want to associate the most populous U.S. state with the color red. As in herring.
That's the conclusion of Green Car Reports in its evaluation of a number of EVs set to launch within the next year or two. With automakers like Toyota, General Motors and Ford obligated to meet certain zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) quotas for California, those companies are making EV versions of the RAV4, Chevrolet Spark, Focus (respectively) almost purely for the purpose of meeting the quotas – not for any widespread U.S. sales.
Honda and Chrysler are also making what GCR termed "compliance cars" with the Fit and the Fiat 500 Elettrica. All of those models are strictly for show, the publication says, because they're either going to be lease-only models, won't be available much outside of the "California emissions" states, will be produced in extremely low volumes or have so few details released about them from the automakers that a true national roll-out is unlikely.
Of course, if a bunch of other states follow California's emissions rules lead, this all could change. Earlier this year, we learned that as many as 10 other states may adopt zero-emissions vehicles quotas similar to California's. Also, California recently finalized a requirement for more than 15 percent of the new cars to be ZEVs by the 2025 model year, which would mean that about 270,000 ZEVs would have to be sold in California each year.
Still, we like that GCR named names, and you can get all the details and reasoning here.