ZEV Regulatory Background
The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation was
first adopted in 1990 as part of the Low Emission Vehicle
Program. Although it has been modifed several times over the
years, as shown in the timeline on page four, it still remains an
important program for California’s air quality and has spurred many new
technologies that are being driven on California’s roads.
While critics maintain that the ZEV regulation
is a failure, in reality many successes have come out of the
regulation. For instance, nearly 2 million Californians are driving
partial zero and advanced technology partial zero emission vehicles
(PZEV and AT PZEV). These vehicles have near-zero tailpipe
emissions, zero evaporative emissions and an extended emissions
warranty of 15 years or 150,000 miles. In fact, they are 80%
cleaner than the average 2002 model year car.
In addition to the variety of PZEVs and AT
PZEVs available, gas-electric hybrid vehicles are also a success.
With more than 400,000 hybrids on California’s roads, they give
consumers a way to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
Although these “near- zero” emission vehicles provide critical
pollution reductions in the near term, with the increases in
California’s population and in the number of miles we travel each day,
we must continue to pursue pure zero emission transportation
The Board’s motivation has always been to have zero emission
technologies on the roads on a mass scale as soon as possible.
Whether using fuel cells, battery electric vehicles, or other
technologies, our commitment to zero emissions has never wavered. Our
strategy, however, has appropriately considered the state of
technology, market factors, economic impact, and our mission.
The ZEV Program Timeline:
|| California embarked on a plan to reduce vehicle
emissions to zero through the introduction of the Zero Emission
Vehicle (ZEV) Program. At that time, the Board required that in
1998, 2% of the vehicles that large manufacturers produced for sale in
California had to be ZEVs, increasing to 5% in 2001 and 10% in
|| The ZEV mandate was adjusted to eliminate the “ramp up”
years but left in place the 10% ZEV requirement for 2003, and again in
1998 to allow partial ZEV (PZEV) credits for extremely clean vehicles
that were not pure ZEVs. The underlying goal, however, never
changed. California remained committed to seeing increasing
numbers of ZEVs in the vehicle fleet. The challenge was
determining how to reach this goal.
|| The challenge at this time was to maintain progress
towards commercialization of ZEVs, while recognizing constraints due to
cost, lead-time, and technical challenges. The 2001 modifications
allowed large manufacturers to meet their ZEV requirement with 2% pure
ZEVs, 2% Advanced Technology PZEVS and 6% PZEVs.
||Due to a lawsuit filed against the Board, a federal
district judge issued a preliminary injunction that prohibited the
Board from enforcing the 2001 ZEV amendments with respect to the sale
of new motor vehicles in model years 2003 or 2004. Once the Board
adopted the 2003 Amendments to the ZEV regulation, the parties to the
lawsuits agreed to end the litigation.
||In order to address the preliminary injunction and
better align the program requirements with the status of technology
development, staff proposed additional modifications to the ZEV
regulation in March 2003. The reasons and benefits are
||ARB held a Technology Symposium and an Independent
Expert Review Panel submitted their report on the status of all ZEV
||Staff went to the Board in early 2007 with the
information gathered from the Symposium as well as the report from the
Independent Expert Review Panel. The Board determined that staff
should recommend changes to the regulation for the 2009 and subsequent
||The Board approved modifications to the regulation at
the March 27, 2008 hearing. The Board also directed staff to
redesign the ZEV Program so it will affect the 2015+ model years.
||The Board heard about staff's plans to redesign the ZEV program (2009 ZEV Review)
||The Board adopted Regulatory Changes to the ZEV program
||ARB adopts Advanced Clean Cars
||Staff will present
regulatory changes to the ZEV program