The California Air Resources Board (ARB) released a summary of its proposed Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) regulation package (earlier post), which establishes stringent new emissions standards for light duty vehicles from 2015 through 2025. Further documents will be released on 7 December. The Advanced Clean Cars package combines four different regulations: light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas limits; the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate; the next phase of the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV-III) program; and a new Clean Fuels Outlet regulation.
Separately, the US DOT and EPA released their joint proposal to set stronger fuel economy and greenhouse gas pollution standards for Model Year 2017-2025 passenger cars and light trucks. (Earlier post.) The California and Federal greenhouse gas emissions standards are aligned; California will accept compliance with the Federal standards as meeting state requirements.
The Advanced Clean Cars package of regulations is designed to deliver:
A 47% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, compared to today’s levels;
A further 75% reduction in smog-forming emissions by 2025;
One in seven new cars sold in 2025 (15.4%) be a zero-emission or plug-in hybrid vehicle;
A total of 1.4 million zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road in California by 2025;
A reduction of 40 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2025, the equivalent of taking eight million cars off the road; and,
A savings of $5 Billion in operating costs in 2025 for California drivers. This will rise to $10 Billion in 2030 when more advanced cars are on the road.
The proposed Advanced Clean Car package has been in development over the past three years and comprises four separate but related regulations:
Greenhouse gas standard for cars and light trucks, model years 2017-2025 This regulation builds on California’s first-in-the-nation greenhouse gas standard that was later adopted by the federal government as part of a national program in 2009. The current proposal to strengthen the greenhouse gas standard was developed in tandem with the federal government over the past three years, toward accommodating manufacturers’ desire for a single national program within California’s separate motor vehicle emission control program. It is designed to parallel the national greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards rule the U.S. EPA and the Department of Transport are releasing today under their coordinated rulemaking.
The proposed new standard drops greenhouse gas emissions to 166 grams per mile, a reduction of 47% from current levels. This will be achieved through existing technologies (such as hybrid cars), the use of stronger and lighter materials, and more efficient drivetrains and engines.
LEV III. California will need to reduce smog-forming pollution by an additional 75% from 2016 levels to help meet more stringent Federal air quality standards expected in the next few years. Since California continues to have the nation’s worst air quality, and has more than 26 million cars on the road, it is necessary to further reduce smog-forming pollution from cars. This regulation will drive the development of the cleanest cars yet that use today’s diesel, gasoline-powered, or typical gas-electric hybrid internal combustion engines.
In comments at the Los Angeles Auto Show, ARB Chairman Mary Nichols said that California LEV III will be harmonized with the upcoming US EPA Tier 3 regulations.
Zero Emission Vehicle Regulation. This regulation builds on the program in place since 1990 and is designed to rapidly increase ZEV production to early commercial volumes, establishing a sustainable and growing market for these advanced technology vehicles. This will place California on a path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, a goal adopted by many nations and believed necessary to stabilize climate temperature.
ARB analysis demonstrates that the ZEV regulation is required to put 1.4 million ZEVs on the road by 2025 (15.4 percent of new vehicle sales in that year) in order to be on track to reach the 2050 greenhouse gas reduction goal. ARB says that a transitional model—the plug-in hybrid car—will play a significant role over the next twenty years but by mid-century, 87% of cars on the road will need to be full zero-emission vehicles to achieve climate goals.
Clean Fuel Outlets. This regulation is designed to address the pending commercialization of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by requiring the construction of hydrogen fueling stations. Construction of the new stations will provide a convenient fueling infrastructure, first within the major air basins but ultimately throughout the state.