The state passed sweeping new auto emission standards today that will put 1.4 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2025.
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) unanimously approved the regulations, which require one of seven new cars sold in the state in 2025 to be zero-emission vehicles.
Unlike the new federal rules, which omit mandated reductions in greenhouse gases from vehicles, California now requires a 50% reduction from current levels. They also require a 75% reduction in smog-forming pollutants by 2025.
And in a bold move, they’re requiring large oil companies to chip in for the infrastructure to support those clean cars.
"ARB’s vote today is truly historic and will encourage accelerated growth of the clean transportation technology industry," says John Boesel, CEO of CALSTART, a non-profit focused on growing the clean transportation industry.
CARB approved four major policies to improve public health and protect the climate:
- Passenger car standards from 2017-2025 that will result in a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon;
- A Zero Emission Vehicle mandate resulting in 15% of new cars sold in California in 2025 with zero tailpipe emissions.
- Strengthening of smog forming emissions rules for passenger cars;
- A general policy framework that requires large oil companies to finance low carbon vehicle infrastructure, such as recharging stations.
The new standards are expected to be adopted by other states and eventually, the federal government. Since the 1960s, California’s leadership has been spurring innovations in emissions-control technology.
14 other states have adopted California’s smog emissions rules and 10 states have adopted its zero-emission vehicle mandates.
Automakers, which participated in developing the standards, submitted testimony in favor of them.
Automakers will be able to get credits toward their zero-emission vehicle mandate if they exceed federal greenhouse gas emissions standards. They can use the credits to reduce the number of zero emission vehicles they make from 2018-2021.
The package of initiatives will save Californians $22 billion through 2025, according to ARB analysis. By 2025, the program will create 21,000 new jobs across the state as people spend less on gasoline and shift that money to more productive parts of the economy.
Individuals will save $4,000 over the life of the typical car sold in 2025, even after paying for clean car technology. The added cost of the technology improvements would be fully recovered from fuel savings within the first three years of owning the vehicle.