California Air Resources Board releases Advanced Clean Car Package
On December 7, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) published an Advanced Clean Car package of regulations to be considered for adoption at the ARB meeting on January 26, 2012. The package, containing amendments to California’s Low Emission Vehicle and Zero Emission Vehicle regulations, will require car manufacturers to offer for sale in California an increasing percentage of low emission and zero emission vehicles by 2025, and are designed to help the state achieve its goal of reducing GHG emissions by 80% by 2050.
The proposed Low Emission Vehicle (LEV III) amendments are intended to reduce fleet-wide average emissions to super ultra-low-emission vehicle (SULEV) levels by 2025, and to raise the full useful life durability requirement from 120,000 to 150,000 miles. The LEVIII proposal includes more stringent particulate matter (PM) standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles, which will reduce the health effects and premature deaths associated with these emissions. In concert with the LEV III requirements are proposed GHG emission standards, which closely align with the recent proposed federal GHG emissions and CAFE standards. ARB estimates that its proposed GHG standards would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 34% compared to 2016 levels, and by 52 million tons by 2025—the equivalent of taking ten million cars off the road.
The package includes amendments to the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation, which will further reduce the environmental impact of light-duty vehicles through increasing the number of ZEVs in the California fleet. ARB estimates that the regulation will result in 1.4 million ZEVs or TZEVs (transitional zero emission vehicle, most commonly a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) on the road by 2025, and also contains a provision that allows automakers that over comply with the national GHG emission requirements across their fleet to offset their ZEV requirements.
The proposed regulations also contain a provision that will require the construction of hydrogen fueling stations to support the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. ARB estimates that the advanced technologies used to achieve the new smog and greenhouse gas standards will increase a new vehicle’s price in 2025 by about $1,900, but will be offset by $6,000 in fuel savings over the life of the car. It is estimated that these measures will reduce annual fuel costs to operate a car by an average of 25%, with an overall cumulative savings of $22 billion by 2025.
The proposed LEV III and ZEV amendments will be considered at a two-day meeting of the Board, beginning January 26, 2012, at 9am PST.