TRAVERSE CITY, Mich - A long-simmering dispute between automakers and US regulators over policies to promote electric vehicles spilled into the open on Tuesday, in the high stakes struggle over the future of automotive technology.
The heads of two major lobby groups told hundreds of attendees at an industry conference in Traverse City, Michigan, that automakers are struggling to meet a California mandate to boost demand for electric cars to 15 percent of sales by 2025.
Nine other states have adopted the same target to comply with the Obama administration's efforts to curb greenhouse gas omissions from vehicles.
Under the federal rules, automakers and regulators are supposed to conduct a review of U.S. fuel economy standards that call for new vehicles to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
California and nine other states, however, have taken the additional step of setting quotas for sales of "zero emission vehicles," either battery electric or fuel-cell models, which account for less than 1 percent of U.S. car and light truck sales today.