Release 10-22
March 1, 2010

Stanley Young
916-322-1309 desk
916-956-9409 cell

John Swanton

ARB workshop signals start of process to envision car of the future

New approach combines tailpipe and greenhouse gas emissions, draws on wide range of technologies, studies 

EL MONTE, Calif.—A workshop to be held in the California Air Resources Board’s El Monte office on March 2, is designed to kick off a pioneering effort to craft standards to help develop the next generation of cleaner cars.  

"California takes its responsibility to lead in setting environmental standards for motor vehicles very seriously,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “The time has come to move beyond dealing separately with the pollutants we have regulated successfully and the recent focus on those that are building up in the atmosphere. We need to look out more than a few years and envision the car of the future. Where better for engineers to dream about the car of the future than the state that gave us the microchip, Google and now the Tesla?”

The new approach will link formerly separate standards to reduce toxic tailpipe emissions and greenhouse gas emissions into a single regulatory framework. The standards were formerly known as “LEV III” (for the third stage of the Low Emission Vehicle standards) and “Pavley II” (for the second, post-2016 stage of California’s pioneering greenhouse gas standard, established under AB 1493, the 2002 law authored by California state senator Fran Pavley).  Also encompassed in the new approach are standards for zero emission vehicles, known as the ZEV regulations.

“Our goal is to guide the development of even cleaner, ultra-low carbon cars that deliver performance and utility,” said Tom Cackette, the executive officer who oversees ARB’s motor vehicle programs. “This will reduce fuel costs for consumers, and help move California, and the nation, away from its dependence on petroleum and toward greater energy security.”

The workshop is designed to present the widest range of technological and design options that manufacturers are currently working on to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency.

These include improvements in hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, full battery-electric vehicles, the use of hydrogen-powered fuel cells, vehicles that run on biofuels and other alternative low-carbon fuels, reducing the weight of the vehicle using a range of stronger and lighter materials, and approaches to keeping the interior of the car cooler (reducing the load of the air condition system to further reduce fuel consumption and emissions).

The workshop comes on the heels of ARB fulfilling its final commitment to an agreement announced at the White House last May. That agreement established California’s clean cars law as the national greenhouse standard.

The next-generation car will have reductions of greenhouse gas emissions beyond the 30 percent mandated by that standard while continuing to improve on reductions of smog-forming pollutants. Thanks to past efforts by ARB, current tailpipe emissions of those pollutants are 99.7 percent cleaner than a car from the late 1960s.

California has set, and will continue to set, tough standards for cleaner, more efficient vehicles that the rest of the nation can follow,” said Nichols. “This successful model of state leadership will be applied in the future to continue to provide the cleanest possible cars with even greater greenhouse gas reductions.”

The workshop begins March 2, at 9 AM at the Air Resources Board, 9530 Telstar Avenue,

El Monte, California 91731.

A webcast of the workshop is at:

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.  ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.  The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.