Hydrogen – Fuel Cell Technology, Infrastructure

CARB Passes New Rules Mandating More Zero-Emission & Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

January 30, 2012

LOS ANGELES -- The California Air Resources Board (CARB) on Jan. 27 unanimously approved a package of new emissions rules for 2017-2025 model-year cars and light trucks. The rules require that by 2025, zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles will account for one in seven new cars sold in California – approximately 15.4 percent of new vehicles sales in that year.

The Advanced Clean Cars program aims to have more than 1.4 million zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road in California by 2025.

Program backers assert that the rules will deliver a 75-percent reduction in smog-forming emissions from new vehicles by 2025 (compared to 2014 levels). What’s more, they say, greenhouse gas emissions from new cars will be cut 34 percent from 2016 levels, and the rules package will result in a cumulative reduction of more than 870 million metric tons of greenhouse gases through 2050.

“The California Advanced Clean Car rules will clean our air, fight climate change and provide cars that save consumers thousands of dollars at the pump,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “The Board’s action today will create thousands of new jobs, transforming California into the advanced car capital of the world.”

The new rules are intended to bolster production and delivery of zero-emission technologies, such as full battery electric cars, newly emerging plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell cars. The regulatory package is also designed to ensure adequate fueling infrastructure is available for the increasing numbers of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles planned for deployment in California. 

The Advanced Clean Cars program, in development over the past three years, is composed of four components: A greenhouse gas standard for 2017-2025 model-year cars and light trucks, smog-forming emission reduction standards, zero-emission vehicle regulation and clean fuels outlet standards. The latter component's regulation is designed to support the commercialization of zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles planned by automakers by 2015. Construction of the new stations will provide a fueling infrastructure for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

Backers of the program forecast that California drivers will save $5 billion in operating costs in 2025, and $10 billion by 2030 when more advanced cars are on the road. In 2025, they say, average consumers will see nearly $6,000 in fuel cost savings over the life of the car -- nearly triple the estimated per-vehicle cost. The new requirements are expected to add approximately $1,900 to the price of a new vehicle in 2025.

For more details about the Advanced Clean Cars program's regulations, click here.

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