Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. once bemoaned that America’s love affair with the car was dying.
“In California, people used to write songs about T-Birds and Corvettes,” he said in 2002. “Today they write regulations.”
But oddly enough, rules requiring automakers to improve fuel economy and reduce tailpipe emissions are fueling some potentially transformational developments in the auto industry by California companies.
Google is working on a self-driving electric car. Tesla is attempting to become the first successful start-up automaker in decades with its electric cars.
And Apple has captured just about everyone’s attention in the auto industry with reports that it has hundreds of staffers working on a minivan-like electric vehicle.
Apple’s possible foray into autos–something the company has not confirmed–is raising eyebrows because the tech giant has a lot of know-how and $178 billion in cash to play with.