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California Approves Rules Requiring All New Cars To Be Zero Emission By 2035

August 28, 2022

by Peter Maloney
August 28, 2022

The California Air Resources Board last week approved a rule that requires all new cars and light trucks sold in California will be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, by 2035.

The Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) rule establishes a year-by-year roadmap that codifies the light-duty vehicle goals set out in Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-79-20.

The ACC II rule is the second phase of California’s Advanced Clean Cars Program adopted by CARB in 2012 that was designed to bring together CARB’s passenger vehicle requirements to meet federal air quality standards and to support AB 32, the law that called for greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, which was achieved in 2016. ACC II is also “a major tool” in the effort to reach the SB 32 target of reducing greenhouse gases an additional 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. SB 32, ratified in 2016, amended the goals of AB 32, which was passed in 2006.

ACC II applies to automakers, not dealers, and covers only new vehicle sales. It does not affect existing vehicles on the road, which will still be legal to own and drive.

The rule accelerates requirements that automakers deliver an increasing number of zero-emission light-duty vehicles each year beginning in model year 2026. Sales of new ZEVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will start with 35 percent that year, build to 68 percent in 2030, and reach 100 percent in 2035.

ACC II specifies that plug-in hybrid, full battery-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles count toward an automaker’s requirement under the rule, but further specifies that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles must have an all-electric range of at least 50 miles under real-world driving conditions. Automakers will be allowed to meet no more than 20 percent of their overall ZEV requirement with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles will need a minimum range of 150 miles to qualify under the ACC II rules, as well as fast-charging ability and must come equipped with a charging cord to facilitate charging and meet new warranty and durability requirements.

By model year 2030, the rules require vehicles to maintain at least 80 percent of electric range for 10 years or 150,000 miles. That goal is phased in from 70 percent for 2026 through 2029 model year vehicles.

By model year 2031, individual vehicle battery packs must be warranted to maintain 75 percent of their energy for eight years or 100,000 miles with a phase-in schedule of 70 percent for 2026 through 2030 model years.

The rule also calls for ZEV powertrain components to be warranted for at least three years or 50,000 miles.

ACC II also updates regulations for light- and medium-duty internal combustion engine vehicles with lower emission standards that CARB says will “complement more significant emission reductions gained by wider ZEV deployment” and help to “prevent potential emission backsliding by removing ZEVs from the emissions baseline used to calculate new vehicle fleet-average emissions.”

California’s budget includes $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2022-23 and $3.9 billion over three years, for investment in ZEV adoption.

The ZEV budget includes $400 million over three years for the statewide expansion of Clean Cars 4 All, which provides up to $9,500 to low-income drivers who scrap older vehicles to purchase cleaner running vehicles.

The budget also includes $525 million for the Clean Vehicles Rebate Project, which provides up to $7,000 for income-qualified drivers to buy or lease a ZEV.

And the ZEV budget provides $300 million for more charging infrastructure, especially for consumers who do not have a garage.

CARB says its analysis indicates that battery-electric vehicles are likely to reach cost parity with conventional vehicles by 2030 and that by 2035 consumers are likely to realize as much as $7,900 in maintenance and operational savings over the first 10 years of ownership.

CARB said that states that follow California’s vehicle rules are expected to adopt similar regulations. Those states constitute about 40 percent of the nation’s new car sales, CARB said.

Those states are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington.