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December 4, 2012 10:51 AM | By John LeBlanc for MSN Autos
2012 LA Auto Show: Worst in show

City-sized electric cars



2014 Chevrolet Spark EV (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
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  • These cars should’ve stayed back on the drawing board
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  • BMW i3 Coupe Concept (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
  • BMW i3 Coupe Concept (© Photo: Microsoft)
  • Fiat 500e (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
  • 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
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Governed by California's Air Resources Board (CARB), six volume automakers (the Detroit Three, plus the three largest Japanese automakers: Nissan, Honda, and Toyota) are mandated to sell a certain number of "zero emissions" (i.e. electric or fuel cell) cars in the state. And by 2018, BMW, Hyundai and Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Volkswagen, and Volvo will also be mandated to sell EVs. Only automakers that sell fewer than 20,000 total vehicles in California will be exempt. But at twice the cost of their gas-counterparts, and less than one-quarter the driving range, will people actually buy these EVs?

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