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Proceedings of the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Workshop: A Policy, Technology, and Research Conference


Research Report

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Suggested Citation:
Lipman, Timothy E., Kenneth S. Kurani, Daniel Sperling (1994) Proceedings of the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Workshop: A Policy, Technology, and Research Conference. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-94-23

Neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) are small, very efficient EVs that are designed to be used for urban trips at relatively low speeds. They provide the potential for greatly reduced air pollution, energy use, petroleum imports, greenhouse gas emissions, and road space. Because they are very energy efficient, they are better suited to the limitations of today's batteries than are full-sized EVs designed for highway travel. As supplements to a household's group of vehicles, NEVs could be used for the vast majority of short trips. Because these trips account for a disproportionate share of emissions, NEVs provide even greater per-kilometer emission reductions than full-sized EVs.

The primary motivation for automakers to produce and sell EVs is the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 1990. This mandate requires major manufacturers to produce and deliver for sale a number of ZEVs equal to 2% of their California sales in 1998. This percentage rises to 5% in 2001 and eventually reaches 10% in 2003. The northeastern states have requested permission from the U.S. EPA to adopt similar rules. Many NEVs qualify as ZEVs.

In addition to the ZEV mandate, other recent legislative acts contain provisions that encourage the production, sale, and use of EVs, including the 1992 Energy Policy Act (EP Act), the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), and the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (1990 CAAA). Also, new rules are being proposed that would allow EVs to be included in calculations of manufacturer's Corporate Average Fuel Economy ratings.