EPA finds that both biodiesel and renewable diesel from palm oil fail to meet GHG reduction threshold for RFS program
Ballard signs MOU with Tata Motors to power clean fuel cell bus demonstrations in India

California Air Resources Board unanimously adopts Advanced Clean Cars Package

ACC combines three sets of regulations to reduce emissions from light-duty vehicles and build the market for advanced zero emission vehicles. Source: ARB. Click to enlarge.

In a unanimous vote on Friday, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted the Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) regulatory package (earlier post), launching California into another round of major automotive regulations for model years 2015-2025 that are designed to deliver cleaner air, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to help build the future market for battery-electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles.

This package of regulations is both visionary and absolutely feasible,” said Mary Nichols, ARB Chairman, at the opening of the hearing on the rules on Thursday. “The goal is to accelerate a transition already in process and to make sure it succeeds. This marks a new chapter in the history of ARB.

This program will make the cleanest cars and the new technologies commonplace. The Advanced Clean Cars package will help clean our air, help us fight climate change, and perhaps most important for average citizens, save thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicles. It also gives use the ability to brag that we are the clean car capital of the world.

—Mary Nichols

The Advanced Clean Cars program has been in development over the past three years and comprises three main packages of regulations, formulated as amendments to existing regulatory programs:

  • LEV III combines the control of soot and smog-causing pollutants (down to a SULEV level) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into a single coordinated package of requirements for model years 2017 through 2025.

    On the criteria pollutants side, LEV III reduces fleet average emissions of new passenger cars (PCs), light-duty trucks (LDTs) and medium-duty passenger vehicles (MDPVs) to super ultra-low-emission vehicle (SULEV) levels by 2025.

    The replacement of separate NMOG and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) standards with combined NMOG plus NOx standards. The combined ROG+NOx standard will decline from 0.100 for passenger cars and light-duty trucks and 0.119 for light-duty trucks and medium duty passenger vehicles in 2015 to 0.030 for all vehicle categories by 2030.

    Life durability requirements are increased from 120,000 miles to 150,000 miles.

    The regulation also reduces the PM standard to 0.001 gram per mile, phasing in to 100% compliance by 2028 for all light-duty vehicles. (The stringency of the PM standard was a topic of some discussion during the Board meeting, bute the Board chose to run with the regulation as proposed by staff, and monitor and review the level (and compliance technologies), especially given data anticipated from current European efforts to regulate particle number instead of mass.)

    The new regulation also implements zero fuel evaporative emission standards for PCs and LDTs, and more stringent evaporative standards for medium-duty vehicles (MDVs).

    The greenhouse gas standard approved today builds on California’s first-in-the-nation standard that was later incorporated in 2010 by the federal government as part of a national program. The new rules strengthen the greenhouse gas standard for 2017 models and beyond. They were developed in tandem with the federal government over the past three years, including a joint fact-finding process with shared engineering and technical studies.

    The current California program constitutes a separate set of rules with minor variations due to separate legal structures but is designed to parallel the proposed federal joint rulemaking the Obama administration announced last summer. Once the proposed federal standards are adopted, they will be deemed sufficient for compliance in California. This responds to the desire for a streamlined set of rules for new cars and light trucks and creates a single national program for manufacturers that addresses both greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards.

    The new standard drops greenhouse gas emissions to 166 grams per mile, a reduction of 34% compared to 2016 levels. This will be achieved through existing technologies, the use of stronger and lighter materials, and more efficient drivetrains and engines.

  • The modified Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation—the “technology-forcing piece” of the package—requires minimum numbers of battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles to be sold into California, with an anticipated target of 15.4% of new vehicles by 2025 (i.e., one in 7 new cars). Other advanced cars (such as hybrids) are relegated to LEV III.

    The ZEV regulation will result in more than 1.4 million ZEVs on the road by 2025 in order to be on track to reach the 2050 greenhouse gas reduction goal. A transitional model—the plug-in hybrid car—will play a significant role over the next 20 years, but by mid-century, 87% of cars on the road will need to be full zero-emission vehicles to achieve climate goals, according to ARB.

    The new ZEV regulation moves to a simplified scheme for credits based on zero emission range; for example, a 100-mile battery-electric vehicle receives 1.5 credits, while a 300-mile fuel-cell electric vehicle receives 3.5 credits.

    There is a new category—BEVx—for battery-electric vehicles with a small range-extender (i.e., a limp-home capacity, not a Volt-like capacity).

    A special provision allows automakers who overcomply with the GHG fleet standard (under LEV III) to offset their ZEV requirements from 2018-2022. Manufacturers must overcomply by at least 2gCO2e each year for all four years.

    This provision also generated substantial discussion as it was feared that it would reduce the number of real ZEVs on the road.

  • The modified Clean Fuels Outlet (CFO) regulation is intended to assure ultra-clean fuels such as hydrogen are available to meet vehicle demands brought on by these amendments to the ZEV program.

    The CFO regulation required the construction of alternative fuel outlets for a particular fuel when there are 20,000 alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) using that fuel. The modified CFO adds a 10,000-vehicle activation trigger that would apply to an air basin before the statewide trigger of 20,000 is reached. The lower trigger complements auto manufacturers’ early commercialization plans to marketing FCVs in regional clusters.

    Since the trigger is activated by automakers’ projections, the regulation assigns a penalty for undercompliance, if ARB can prove that the automakers knowingly falsified the report.

    As an alternative to the CFO,automakers, industrial gas suppliers, NGOs and the state are negotiating a Memorandum of Agreement to support up to 100 stations. If the MOA succeeds, the requirement to build stations is zero, and the CFO sunsets for hydrogen. If the MOA process fails, CFO requirements are in force.

    The regulation requires evaluation of EV charging infrastructure needs by the end of 2014.




USA is fortunate to have California to lead it in the right direction.


Right up until Bush got his fuel cell guy on the board talking hydrogen 30 years away. Lots of oil money to be made in those 30 years.


Whether or not California is heading in the right direction is debatable; but what's great is that they have flexibility to do certain things they want as a state. The problems are when financially irresponsible states dig themselves into holes & expect bailouts from the responsible.


Most of the trouble started in 2000 when Enron convinced the legislature and the Republican governor to deregulate the electric power industry. That led to gaming the system, the financial ruin of several power companies and the beginning of deficits that they could not get out of.


"...deficits that they could not get out of" - ROFL.


This is just brainwash from big oil. They decided to jack-up the price of conventionnal polluting petrol technology paid by the consumer or the state. They know that they can produce astronomical hydrogen gas for almost free, just the machinery to do so cost something and they didn't say a word on that. The question is how much a kilo of hydrogen cost and does it pollute. The answer is , it cost almost nothing and that do not pollute in any way if made by electrolisis of water. There is numerous petrol reseller in that website that get sick by the word hydrogen and are spraying fuss about it. I said clearly to put solar panels to most roofs and do hydrogen with it, is it clear now ?

Johnny B Good

Meanwhile in other news, "Ener1 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday 1/26/12"
"Ener1 subsidiary EnerDel received a $118 million stimulus grant from the Energy Department in 2009, and Vice President Joe Biden visited the company's new battery plant in Indiana last year".

The chickens are coming home to roost.

This comment on Ener1 is centered on the subtle censorship that is taking place on this web site. The sad truth about electric cars is that we have not yet achieved the energy densities (and range) that are equal to my old gasoline powered 1963 VW Beetle. I pray that the day comes when electric cars will be cheaper to build and operate than gasoline powered cars. When that day comes I will expand my solar PV array so as to accommodate the kilowatt hours required to meet my family’s total annual energy demand. On that day I will shed the shackles of big oil and big electric (FP&L) distributive monopolies.

In the mean time we need the good and bad truth about electric powered cars. We need to achieve this goal of personal energy independence without political intervention just as data processing was liberated from IBM and in a similar way that the internet was made virtually free.


ejj, do you have anything good to say about anything, or are you just going to be a pain in the behind on here?


JBGood...a sure way to actively promote local mass production of batteries for HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs would be for governments to buy US made standardized plug-in modular battery packs and give one free to all electrified vehicle buyers with revenues of less then $50K. The limit per electrified vehicle and/or person could 25 Kwh to 50 Kwh. Individuals with revenues over $50k/year would have to pay for a part of the price based on their revenue i.e. for 1Kwh per each extra $1000 or $2000 of revenues above $50K. The subsidies would be nil for everybody with gross revenues above $100K.

This system would make electrified vehicles price competitive with equivalent ICEVs for everybody with revenues under $50k and more affordable for everybody with revenues between $50K and $100K.

Funds for this program would come from a new progressive liquid fuel tax of $0.05/gal per month and other income and sales taxes modifications.


EnerDel seems to have a good battery and has developed good business. They have agreements with companies and organizations in Asia and appear to be well positioned.

It is not easy for a company to become a major player in only a few years. The Chinese subsidize their solar industry with $30 billion and subsidize batteries as well. It is hard to compete with that.

"China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission will subsidize government-controlled companies for electric car battery development, the China Business News reported,citing an unidentified person close to the commission."



I support an immediate, across-the-board 25% tariff on everything imported from China. There is nothing they could do about because no one else even comes close to importing the amount of stuff we import from China.


China could sell the $1 trillion in U.S. T Bonds on the open world market at a discount. That would prevent us from refinancing our debt at present rates.


In the event of a radical retaliatory action by China which included selling off a large portion or all of our debt, the American people could be enlisted to buy it (like war bonds during WWII).


US bonds are denominated in dollars, which the Fed can print in infinite quantity. China dumps US treasuries, the Fed lends a trillion or so to the likes of Goldman-Sachs, GS & Co. buy the treasuries for dollars, then transfer the bonds to the Fed. Result: China has traded dollar-denominated paper that bears interest for paper that bears no interest, plus the dollar is more competitive against the Yuan so Chinese producers experience pain and social unrest increases. Plus, oil becomes more expensive in dollars, causing pressure to increase fuel efficiency.

We can only wish China would dump treasuries.


How do you imagine that we would sell bonds to refinance debt? Printing money causes inflation and the fed can only buy so many bonds. This is a real scenario and I do not think anyone that has thought about it wants China to sell lots of our bonds at a discount.


The Chinese may not sell on the open market, but to others that would have bought our bonds to refinance our debt. That way the others will not buy our bonds, unless they are at a rate substantially higher. This increases the cost for the U.S. to borrow, if we can borrow at all.


Sooner or latter, USA's huge growing national debt will be harder to re-finance, specially at low interest rates. Printing too many more $T is a limited and short term solution. Borrowing much more from local sources with everybody very deeply in debt is also more difficult.

Letting the US$ value fall by another 50% could be a solution if done progressively.

The real solution is that governments start to balance their budget and even pay back some of their accumulated debts. That may not be possible at the current value of the US$.


The Germans tried hyper inflation after WWI, that did not work out so well. We still have memories of inflation in the 1970s brought on by Viet Nam and printing money, no one wants that.

We will need real productivity, the value added kind that innovation and creativity can provide. It is not enough to create the idea and have it made somewhere else, we need to automate and make it here.


Those air cooled VW bugs were not that economical.. but on one cared since gas was $0.25 a gallon.


Whether VW beetles or Datsun pickups, there were vehicles that cause on and if you asked U.S. automobile company marketing people at the time if they would, they probably would have said no way.

Account Deleted

engineer poet,

in asia, people are sending their children to learn mandarin to prepare them to do business with the chinese from china 10-15 years from now. yuan is a currency of the future so dont blame people in this region for stocking lots of yuan while the value is still low.


Stocks, Bonds and Currencies are often artificially overvalued. Their value is often based on optimistic, overrated evaluations made by speculators. What happened in Germany after WW-II has repeated itself in many other countries and could happen here too or when the current debt/credit bubble bursts wide open.


By the way, the best save heaven is to own and sell what people need for survival......basic low cost food, lodging and clothing and/or luxury items that millionaires and billionaires will buy.


For China to sell the bonds to others, there have to be buyers. It really doesn't matter anyway, because dumping US bonds at a steep discount would hurt China no matter what happened to them. It would be an "own goal".


Not really, it is time value of money. If their objective is to punish the U.S. the price may be right.

The comments to this entry are closed.