RechargeIT Blog

California Air Resources Board Hearing on the ZEV Program

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 2:33 PM



On March 27th the California Air Resources Board (CARB) met to discuss the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program. Prior to last Thursday's meeting, members of our RechargeIT Team met with each Board Member, submitted a public comment, and posted a blog post to inform the public and key stakeholders that we feel the ZEV Program is key policy to the deployment of less polluting vehicles and has a few areas where we recommend some improvements. Adam Smith, our Steward for Good Energy, also gave a presentation at the meeting on our position.


This post is just a first response to last week's hearing - please look for more information as we continue to sort out the details. Google.org is largely supportive of CARB's decision. CARB was right in increasing the floor of pure ZEVs -- battery electric and fuel cell vehicles -- compared to the Staff recommendations, by adding plug-in hybrids to to mix, and by revamping the entire ZEV Program. Next year CARB plans to vote on simplifying the ZEV program to focus it on pure ZEVs and plug-in hybrids for the 2015 model year and beyond, while moving the maturing technologies of regular hybrids and PZEVs to the Pavley II and LEV III programs.


The Outcome (in brief)
1. Decrease number of ZEVs by 70% to 7,500
2. Create a new category for PHEVs with 10 mile all electric range and require automakers sell 58,333
3. Create automaker credit transparency
4. Travel provision modifications made; we are not sure what they are yet
5. Overhaul ZEV Program after 2014


The following is an overview of the program, its history and changes for the period under discussion -- 2012 to 2014 -- at the CARB hearing. We want to preface this table by saying that we are not 100% clear on the precise decision that CARB made on Thursday, but we will clarify and comment on the exact decision once the meeting transcript is available. Until then, we wanted to be sure to share the outcome, as we understood it, with you. It is challenging to display all the information we want in this table, especially with the "ZEV Program Prior to March 27, 2008". In this column, the "Pure Zero Emission Vehicles" only addresses what is called the Alternative or Alt Path. This is a pathway for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles, but not BEVs or PHEVs.


Dan Sperling, a Board Member, proposed that the ZEV Program be broken into the three different programs after 2014: LEV III for the current bronze or PZEV vehicles, Pavley II for the PHEVs, and the ZEV Program for FCVs and BEVs. This structure will be proposed by Staff by the end of 2009.