Release 03-06      

February 13, 2003


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
ARB Postpones Zero-Emission Vehicle Hearing

-- The California Air Resources Board today postponed its hearing on its Zero-Emission Vehicle standards until March 27, 2003. The hearing was originally scheduled for February 27.

"The delay will give the ARB staff the time it needs to develop the best rule possible," said ARB Executive Officer, Catherine Witherspoon.

The ZEV rules are credited with being the catalyst for many of the advanced technologies now found on motor vehicles, such as batteries, hybrids and fuel cells. Originally adopted in 1990 the ZEV rules have been revised several times since then and were to be implemented in 2003 with 10 percent of all new vehicles sold by the six biggest auto sellers in the state. That requirement was suspended by a court injunction in May 2002.

The new staff proposal is expected to eliminate language included in the rules that led to the injunction and to establish a new timetable for the introduction of the program. The new proposal is also expected to modernize the rule to reflect recent technological developments in zero and near zero emission vehicles. The postponement allows the ARB staff to address concerns expressed by the auto manufacturers and environmental groups.

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.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our website at