Turrentine, Thomas S. and Kenneth S. Kurani (2000) Progress in Electric Vehicle Technology and Electric Vehicles from 1990 to 2000: The Role of California's Zero Emission Vehicle Production Requirement. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-00-20
Since late 1990, the attention of the auto industry, electronics industry, battery industry, consumer groups, federal and state clean air programs, federal energy programs, electric utilities and a host other parties has been focused on the potential market for electric vehicles created by the ZEV production requirement. The effects of this attention have been dramatic. The rapid improvements in EV technology during the past decade have delivered vehicles for tests and practical use which are beyond what many thought possible in 1990 or were only hoping could be developed. Electric vehicles have been transformed from golf carts, plant vehicles, and converted curiosities into high performance, high quality transportation tools. Old technologies have been rediscovered and improved. New technologies have been developed. New inventions and innovations have sprung out of research and development programs, some that arose directly from the ZEV production requirement and others that were revitalized by it. ZEV production requirements have lead to road-proven EVs that are well liked by those consumers and fleets who have had the opportunity to drive them during the past few years.
A great deal of this progress can be attributed to the position taken by CARB, that if the automobile manufacturers can build ZEVs, and if ZEVs are required to ensure that Californians can breathe clean air, then ZEVs ought to be made available in the marketplace. The strength of the ZEV production requirement has been the promise of a market for these clean technologies, making car makers and suppliers take a giant step forward during the past decade.