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California ARB votes to move forward with light-duty vehicle GHG and ZEV programs through 2025; cranking it up post-2025

After considering the Advanced Clean Cars Midterm Review (earlier post), the California Air Resources Board voted unanimously on Friday to continue with the vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards and ZEV program for cars and light trucks sold in California through 2025. The action ensures that California and 12 other states that follow its vehicle regulations—one third of the US auto market—will move forward the greenhouse gas emission standards adopted in the 2012 process involving the federal government, California and the automakers.

The Board also voted to support the expansion of the ZEV marketplace before 2025, calling for redoubling current efforts underway to support market growth and paving the way for new regulations to increase rapidly the number of zero-emission vehicles required to be sold in California after 2025.

The Advanced Clean Cars program was approved as an integrated regulatory package in January 2012, brining together LEV III standards for criteria pollutants and greenhouse gas standards. (Earlier post.) Later that year, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the final rule for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for MYs 2017-2025 for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles. (Earlier post.) California committed to accept national program compliance for model years 2017 through 2025 (as it did for MYs 2012 through 2016) with the understanding that it would provide equivalent or better overall greenhouse gas reductions nationwide than California’s program. All agencies agreed to a Mid-Term Review of the feasibility of the standards for the end of the regulatory period.

The Board vote was supported by representatives from the 12 states that have adopted California’s standards. Those states together have a population of 113 million and constitute roughly 30% of the nation’s new car sales. Senior environmental officials from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon testified at the hearing on Friday to urge the Board’s approval.

The Board action affirmed the multi-year staff assessment and analysis that concluded that the established standards for model years 2022-25 are appropriate and feasible. The staff assessment found that the technology to achieve them is not only currently available, but has exceeded the original expectations, both for level of development and cost, when the standards were adopted with automaker support in 2012.


The Board’s vote reached the same conclusion as the US Environmental Protection Agency in its final determination in January on the federal greenhouse gas emission standards for model years 2022-25. Last week, the Trump administration rescinded that decision, and announced that it intends to reconsider the final determination in coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, which is responsible for setting the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.

The 637-page CARB staff report included an analysis of the Technical Assessment Report developed by California and the federal agencies, which was released last July. (Earlier post.) The CARB staff report also includes the first comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the zero-emission vehicle market in California, including valuable new consumer research to assess the benefits and use profiles of ZEVs now operating in California.

Based on these findings, the Board also voted to pursue policies to support more than 4 million zero-emission vehicles in California by 2030, and established a goal to continue reducing average fleet-wide greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles by 4-5% per year between 2025 and 2030.


With the midterm review now in the rearview mirror, we look forward to accelerating our efforts to develop the next set of California vehicle standards. California is also moving forward to accelerate deployment of fuel cell and battery electric cars. That will put us on track to meeting our clean air and climate goals for 2030 and also align California with current advanced vehicle technology research and investment in the global auto marketplace.

—CARB Deputy Executive Officer Alberto Ayala

California, with nearly half of all zero-emission vehicles in the nation, has several programs in place to further support the growing electric car marketplace. The state offers rebates to new buyers or lessees of zero-emission vehicles, is rapidly scaling the infrastructure for charging electric cards and fueling hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and agencies are pursuing nearly 200 actions to support the market, as identified in the Governor’s 2016 ZEV Action Plan.

The Board expressed its commitment to support the ZEV marketplace by continuing complementary programs such as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and redoubling efforts on continued state incentives, utility infrastructure programs, and expanded public education programs, such as the newly established initiative through Veloz, formerly the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative.



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The arrival of fully self-driving BEVs will change everything. That will give the BEVs the edge they need to outcompete gassers as fast as the world can built the 100 gigafactories to go all BEVs in the global autoindustry.


Sure hope so; but, don't forget most cars last 12 years or longer on the roads before they are scrap. That means the ICEVs sold today will be around a long time and the smog and GHGs that come with them. We can't scrap 'em soon enough for me.


Self-driving cars may may change the market for cars in many ways. Those gassers on the road may stay on the road for many more years, but driving fewer miles -- like only the ones between cities. Otherwise people may actually learn to use car sharing, which should be much cheaper per mile than owning a car. So fewer cars will be sold.


They are not being honest with the facts. First as I understand the concern it is GW emissions. Note that this is a global phenomenon. Not limited to Californian wealthy consumers. Second the ZEV is an oxymoron. All energy transfer has life cycle emissions. We need to measure the full impact and quit with false imagery of pollution free transportation. Even carbon black from tires is proving to be a problem. Power generation is a huge problem upon energy reliance. At least within the proposed large scale given the constant balancing requirement, lack of low cost storage, distribution and maintenance costs, and fragility.

The recent CAFE regs are for the sole purpose of pushing battery car sales as the auto manufactures have no easy solution to comply other than force sales of battery car since the vehicle has been set up with a wholly bogus mpg rating of an electric motor efficiency. Meanwhile, the most potent reduction within GW emissions per global results point to minimizing power use. To push high blend ethanol fuel to replace both diesel fuel and gasoline. To build lower cost vehicles for the public such as the mild hybrid. This path has amazing benefits of, first, lowing power consumption and idling more coal power. Second providing cleanup activities for waste that would otherwise will still remain the largest source of carbon emissions. Refer to the Canadian bark beetle and resulting dying trees and fire threat. Third, it is easier and quicker to utilize solar and wind and to increase efficiency of farming and ethanol processing as compared to improving the entire grid power system. We already have a investment within fuel supply services. Auto makers already making vehicles that lower emissions as compared to power generation supply power. This is the direction to have large global impact on GW emissions. Besides those corn farmers already supply most of the wind power. Maybe ethanol should receive an carbon reduction for that feat?

Making farm land less polluting and more efficient will have an incredible impact on civilization food supply, rural wealth generation, and lower pollution. Yes, farming practices was once rated on the top of list of environmental problems, but if you read up on latest agronomic developments it is appearing the activity is quickly moving to green. They are developing plant life and farming practices that provide more GW reduction than common forests. Developments that increase soil fertility and eliminate fertilizer runoff. Farmers are expected to eliminate fossil fuel inputs as well. Drones will have a major impact. Same for GMO technology, positioning technology, and the rest of technology. Plantings will be engineered to increase soil carbon sinks and provide probably the largest deposits over time. One must realize the breath and latitude of solutions within this economic sector. I do think most don't "get it" as they have limited understanding or only apply out of date info. The GW people seem to have a blind spot to this. They don't understand and like easy regulations they can measure and empower the force of government enforce. This results in silliness sometimes. International economics are always larger force than a few rich states passing onerous laws to impose their elite's judgement.


Trees. You seem to be saying "all of the above." With that I agree. But those few "elite" are forcing auto makers to make their products cleaner, and more efficient. I say, more power to them as one piece in "all of the above."


You caught the crux of the problem. The latest bump in CAFE regulations have little to do with the solution and everything to do with forcing battery car sales. Meaning the only practical solution left to automotive is to force the sale of battery cars at a huge expense to themselves. IOWs if they want to stay in business and sell cars that people desire, they will have to give away battery cars to comply with the regs. The latest rounds of regs are to much to quick and automotive technology doesn't work that way. Over some time they could most likely conform, but not this quick. Also, the regs would have a expensive price tag and force the majority of the motoring public to hold on to more polluting vehicles. Thus the new regs will do more harm than good for GW emissions. Most suspect the regs were passed as a political ploy. The current CIC could not let them stand per health of U.S. automakers. This is a ploy as the partisan politics of the day can label and put a record in place to hurt popularity and claim a bad environmental record. Mostly this is just crap politics and very unattractive to play with regulations this way.


Personally, I would like to get rid of the CAFE standards and replace it with a sufficiently high carbon tax so that the consumers would go with more efficient vehicles. The tax could even be revenue neutral. But good luck with getting anything rational done with the current administration.


If CAFE is removed, progressive carbon/fuel taxes would have to be high enough to pay for batteries used in electrified vehicles. A ceiling of 60 to 100 kWh (or $20K) per e-vehicle could be used.

Without the cost of batteries, BEVs could (better) compete with ICEVs and drive them out of the market place in about 10 years. .


Take all the wind and solar electricity wasted, which amounts to terrawatt hours to make LH2 for buses and trucks then sell the oxygen for industrial and medical.


Is it really up to EPA regs to force the market based on subjective desires? Meaning regulations should not be biased. It should be based only on measurable quantifiable data and not guesstimates such as the infamous ILUC penalty that makes up more than 1/2 of ethanol's emission rating. Also, tail pipe emissions in reality is not a good measure of overall environmental impact. For example, what is the impact of expensive new cars to vast majority of consumers who then chose to run old cars longer to save money. How about the efficiency of utilization wherein a low mileage vehicle does more work. How about the impact of increasing power demand to coal power generation. What is the better solution a cheap car running very high Mpg, but a car that pollutes slightly higher percentage within the tailpipe? Or an expensive little car that meets all the tail pipe emissions, but goes unsold.

I do think autonomous technology will push demand of battery car. Metro areas will benefit. They may have competition from fuel cell, but I think vehicles will be very light and small so much so that expensive battery power will not be a factor. Especially with high utilization. Notice, non of this is based on tail pipe emissions. In fact the overall emissions will probably go up. Economics of market demand vs supply impact should be calculated within GW emissions. Especially, for international global emissions. One might learn the inexpensive battery bicycle is a very cost effective and powerful device. Maybe low cost CHP device for heat and power the most lucrative. Ethanol and battery power the most desirable change in emissions given the extreme pollution of the small engine.

Trees> Even carbon black from tires is proving to be a problem.

Considering that ICEs, FCVs, PHEVs and BEVs all use rubber tires, I don't understand your point here. Bicycles? Trains? Electric flying cars? What are you proposing as a viable solution?

I propose the elimination of tailpipe emissions, followed by the elimination of smokestack emissions. You want progress? Let's start there.

Trees> expensive little car that meets all the tail pipe emissions, but goes unsold.

Gee. Tesla doesn't seem to have that "goes unsold" problem with their current cars, and appears not to be facing the problem with the upcoming Model 3.

GM appears to be selling well with the Volt and Bolt despite very little advertising.

Mild hybrids are a good interim step in the right direction but automakers will not recover from their Kodak moment with half-measures.

In retrospect, VW's cheating scandal may prove the seed crystal of its salvation. All new automakers are building electric cars. That's not a coincidence.


"followed by the elimination of smokestack emissions"
You are assuming that will happen, it may not.


I fear the typical Environmentalist have a group think mentality. They have a solution waiting for a problem. Tailpipe emissions or CAFE regs are way to constrictive and expensive. We could do much better.

First I will concede the solution is probably geographically constrained. Meaning fed approach one size fits all is probably the worst approach given how corrosive this approach is and costly. The SW U.S. or NW have different resorces, that make some solutions more attractive. Central U.S. with high wind and ethanol fuel need different solution. Some places coal or nuclear the best choice. Second, the reguation industry is inferior to plain economic incentives that can migrate to all global regions. An easily affordable vehicle that is more envionmentally friendly is more powerful than fed CAFE or minimal tailpipe emission at a high cost. The battery powered bicycle is probly more important to environment as the battery car sales are anemic. Mindless fed regulations to amp up CAFE standards do more harm than good, given the pollution will increase given the coal plant power required. Double that threat for most poorly designed international coal power plants. One first step would be to recalculate the rating to be honest. It looks like we have hired a bunch of activist within EPA that empower politics and elistist viewpoints.

SJC, I'm not assuming smokestack emissions will be eliminated, I am suggesting rhat it should be a priority.

Many people can now buy community solar and other sources of clean power. It's a growing trend. You don't have to wait for your vertically integrated utility to make the first move anymore.

Rooftop solar, community solar, green power generators are all steadily displacing emitters, with increasingly favorable economics. Unless you think wind, solar, better transmission, smart grids and stationary storage are not going to continue to improve and get cheaper, it's a fait accompli.


I agree with your thoughts, just put into perspective. The trend you speak of is very minimal and will take a very long time to make much of a difference. It's better and faster to minimize grid power and let the small percentage of renewable power gain a higher percentage. So, it's not good to put more transportation on the grid. Just the opposite is better. Also, despite the rhetoric or common wisdom, most grid technology has little experience with power that is not dispatchable. It's a big problem yet to be solved and some think solar and wind would best be utilized per hydrogen production and storage. Construction of high power lines is extremely expensive compared to pipelines. Storage of gas is a piece of cake as compared to electricity. Coal in the U.S. is not so bad except for the low efficiency of the steam turbine.

Coal extraction is destructive, coal ash is problematic, coal emits mercury and PM2.5 among other health-hazardous pollutants and it is CO2 intensive.

H2 for stationary storage may have an economic case, it has not yet been deployed much, so the jury is out.

Solar and wind are booming, that's a fact in the economic record. Yes, nat gas is displacing more coal, but there's no indication that renewables are going to slow down other than for temporary regulatory turbulence.


U.S. coal is the cleanest coal power by huge margin. It's not good, but as compared. If you truly want to eliminate and I do, we should minimize our national power consumption. This has two benefits. The strategy will allow renewable to quickly gain a higher percentage of power production and eliminate the dirtiest power. This is the cheapest and easiest path to increase our renewable power. Natural gas is less polluting and better used at the point of use. Citizens could save more money and improve environment by displacing electric power. Efficiency is much higher that going the electric power route. Heat pumps may be the exception, but they are expensive, suffer higher maintenace costs, and utilization of the power will ensure coal's future.

We should push the production of biofuel and midlevel blends. A hybrid vehicle running on E85 is way cleaner than grid power. Currently, plain gasoline rated at grid parity with hybrid technology for most of the country. Ethanol has half the CO2 per the lastest evaluations as an industry average. Take the bogus ILUC penalty away and it much higher. All tail pipe emissions drop with ethanol. We should be pushing ethanol optimized vehicles equally as battery cars. Currently, We have no incentive for optimized ethanol vehicle. Why is that, given the environmental benefits? Only CA EPA financed such a adventure with the Cummins E85 mid weight van. That was supposed to go into production, but the politics forced the demise. I think petrol money was on the rage to prevent this. The vehicle was offered in gasoline or diesel engines. Field trials proved the optimised E85 engine beat gasoline mpg, horsepower, and torque. Only needed one half the displacement to equal diesel. The engine was less expensive in that unlike diesel required no high pressure injection system nor expensive exhaust treatment and half the size and weight.

Whenever anyone says "clean" and "coal" in the same sentence, I wonder what distant future they might be imagining.

There is no such thing as clean coal. Not in any competitive economic terms, or scaled deployment terms, or any kind of real world terms. It's just fake news.


There may be "cleaner" coal which would be an improvement.

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