The California Air Resources Board (CARB), USA, part of the California Environmental Protection Agency, has approved the Advanced Clean Cars II rule that establishes a year-by-year roadmap that will see 100% of new cars and light trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, by 2035.
The move is expected to enable California to rapidly grow its zero-emission car, pickup truck and SUV market and deliver cleaner air and significant reductions in climate-warming pollution. The regulation follows the light-duty vehicle goals set out in California Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-79-20.
Many US states have set targets and goals to phase out the sale of internal combustion cars, but CARB states that California’s is the most aggressive, establishing a definitive mechanism to meet required zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales that ramp up year over year, culminating in 100% ZEV sales in 2035.
Transportation is said to be the single largest source of global warming emissions and air pollution in the state. By 2037, the regulation is expected to deliver a 25% reduction in smog-causing pollution from light-duty vehicles to meet federal air quality standards. This benefits all Californians but especially the state’s most environmentally and economically burdened communities along freeways and other heavily travelled thoroughfares. From 2026 through 2040 the regulation is expected to result in cumulative avoided health impacts worth nearly $13 billion including 1,290 fewer cardiopulmonary deaths, 460 fewer hospital admissions for cardiovascular or respiratory illness, and 650 fewer emergency room visits for asthma.
“Once again California is leading the nation and the world with a regulation that sets ambitious but achievable targets for ZEV sales,” stated Liane Randolph, CARB chair. “Rapidly accelerating the number of ZEVs on our roads and highways will deliver substantial emission and pollution reductions to all Californians, especially for those who live near roadways and suffer from persistent air pollution. The regulation includes ground-breaking strategies to bring ZEVs to more communities and is supported by the Governor’s ZEV budget which provides incentives to make ZEVs available to the widest number of economic groups in California, including low- and moderate-income consumers.”
The new regulation accelerates requirements that automakers deliver an increasing number of zero-emission light-duty vehicles each year beginning in the model year 2026. Sales of new ZEVs and PHEVs will start with 35% that year, build to 68% in 2030, and reach 100% in 2035. The regulation applies to automakers and covers only new vehicle sales. It does not impact existing vehicles currently on the road which will still be legal to own and drive.
Further information about the Advanced Clean Cars II rule is available through the CARB website.