California Air Resources Board’s Review of Advanced Clean Cars Program Recommends Stronger Future Standards

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

Published Jan 18, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (January 18, 2017)—The California Air Resources Board today released a review of its Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) program, which shows that technological advancements have increased fuel efficiency and reduced harmful emissions over the past five years. The review recommends that the board strengthen requirements for the production of zero-emission vehicles for 2026 and 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. This leadership is more vital than ever in the face of uncertainty over federal efforts to fight pollution and climate change in the coming years.

“With electric vehicle technology progressing much faster than expected and costs coming down, automakers are developing and deploying more fuel efficient and electric vehicle choices than ever before. This review confirms that automakers can cost-effectively meet the standards through 2025, and go even further. A stronger zero-emission vehicle program after 2025 together with incentives and infrastructure investment will continue to drive consumer adoption of electric vehicles in the Golden State and beyond.

“The review shows that California’s standards are not only achievable, but are paving the way to put even more clean vehicles on the road to further reduce the pollution fouling our air and contributing to climate change. That’s good news as we work towards achieving California’s goals of having 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025 and slashing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

“Nearly 300,000 electric vehicles have been sold in California and the nine other states that have adopted the zero-emission vehicle standards, and sales continue to grow. While there is strong consumer interest in seeing automakers offer more electric vehicle options, our research has found limited EV choices outside of California. Automakers should make the same electric vehicles they sell in California available in other states so more consumers can benefit from the clean air and fuel savings of electric vehicles.”

For more details on the review, please read this blog by UCS Senior Engineer David Reichmuth.