California Air Resources Board Holds Steady on Clean-Car Standards

Statement by Don Anair, Research and Deputy Director, Clean Vehicles Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Mar 24, 2017

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (March 24, 2017)—The California Air Resources Board today gave the green light to its Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) program, reaffirming that standards set through 2025 should stay on track and ordering development of stronger requirements for vehicles manufactured in subsequent model years. 

The clean-car standards, adopted in 2012, were developed to reduce smog-causing pollutants, particulate matter, and global warming emissions in passenger cars and other vehicles through 2025. The zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) regulation, in particular, requires auto manufacturers to produce an increasing number of plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel-cell electric vehicles. 

Below is a statement by Don Anair:

“California’s advanced clean cars standards are cutting pollution, reducing oil use, and delivering savings to consumers at the pump. That leadership in advancing science-based policies that favor consumers over oil industry profits is more critical than ever as the Trump administration undermines climate protections by moving forward with the Keystone Pipeline and seeking to weaken federal vehicle standards.

 “Today’s decision by the air board is appropriate and consistent with a thorough review that shows vehicle technology is progressing faster than expected, enabling automakers to cost-effectively meet the standards through 2025, and go even further.

“Despite their opposition to the standards, automakers are developing and deploying more fuel efficient and electric vehicle choices than ever before. Electric vehicles on the road today in California are saving drivers more than $110 million in fuel costs and over 80 million gallons of gasoline each year. A stronger zero-emission vehicle program after 2025 together with incentives and infrastructure investment will continue to drive consumer adoption of electric vehicles in California and the other states that have adopted our standards.

“California’s standards are helping to keep America’s automotive industry globally competitive by driving innovation. And they are paving the way to put even more clean vehicles on the road that will help alleviate the transportation pollution that fouls our air and significantly contributes to climate change.”

For more details on the California Air Resources Board’s decision on its clean-car standards, please read this blog by UCS Senior Engineer David Reichmuth.