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Electric Vehicles Could Get a Break at the Port of Los Angeles

| Tuesday May 11th, 2010 | 1 Comment

Electric vehicles can use all the help they can get to compete with their gasoline-powered brethren, and the Port of Los Angeles is eager to help.

Under its newly proposed “ZERO Emission Vehicle Tariff Measure,” the Port would lower tariffs on EVs and other zero-emissions vehicles by 15 percent. The reduction would help the Port meet local, state and federal initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The announcement comes on the heels of news that BYD, a Chinese electric car manufacturer, plans to locate its North American headquarters in Los Angeles.

The tariff reduction would have to be approved by the California Ports Authority, the Los Angeles Harbor Commission and the Los Angeles City Council, and the Port has expressed the hope of getting the provision enacted by September.

The Port of Los Angeles Auto Facility has an 8,000 vehicle capacity and is used by Nissan, Infinity and Nissan Diesel.

Nissan makes the Leaf, the first mass-produced all-electric vehicle, which is scheduled to go on sale in the US later this year. For the first couple years the car will be made in Japan and imported, before assembly switches to a plant in Tennessee — no word on whether such imports will come through LA.

Presumably when BYD (which stands for Build Your Dreams) begins importing its electric cars into the US, it will use the Port.

Current tariffs on imported vehicles entering the port are $22.05 to $26.46 per vehicle, this would drop to $22.49 to $18.74 per vehicle under the proposed cut.

The Port has been embroiled in a legal and regulatory battle over another aspect of its emissions reduction plan. Last week, a Congressional subcommittee heard testimony regarding a plan by the Port to ban independent, owner-operated trucks in an effort to ensure all trucks at the port comply with low-emissions standards.

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