Release 03-11      

April 24, 2003


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
ARB Modifies Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Regulation

--The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today voted to make modifications and upgrades to the State's Zero-Emission Vehicle ( ZEV) Regulation.

"The ZEV mandate is the most powerful idea and the most motivating force that this board has ever unleashed in the vehicle sector,“ said ARB Chairman, Dr. Alan Lloyd.

The most important modification creates a new ZEV pathway, giving manufacturers a choice of two options for meeting their ZEV requirements.

Auto manufacturers can meet their ZEV obligations by meeting standards that are similar to the ZEV rule as it existed in 2001. This means using a formula allowing a vehicle mix of 2 percent pure ZEVs, 2 percent AT-PZEVs (vehicles earning advanced technology partial ZEV credits) and 6 percent PZEVs (extremely clean conventional vehicles). The ZEV obligation is based on the number of passenger cars and small trucks a manufacturer sells in California.

Or manufacturers may chose a new alternative ZEV compliance strategy meeting part of their ZEV requirement by producing their sales-weighted market share of approximately 250 fuel cell vehicles by 2008. The remainder of their ZEV requirements could be achieved by producing 4 percent AT-PZEVs and 6 percent PZEVs. The required number of fuel cell vehicles will increase to 2,500 from 2009-11, 25,000 from 2012-14 and 50,000 from 2015 through 2017. Automakers can substitute battery electric vehicles for up to 50 percent of their fuel cell vehicle requirements.

With the ZEV regulations on hold for 2003-04 because of automaker lawsuits, the above requirements will not fully go into effect until 2005. However, automakers can receive credit for any ZEV, PZEV or AT-PZEV vehicles they choose to sell or lease in 2003-04.

ARB will appoint an independent review panel of technology/industry experts with no financial ties to motor vehicle manufacturers to report on ZEV technology progress, costs and consumer acceptance. In addition, ARB staff will report annually on the progress of the ZEV program.

Chairman Lloyd continued, “Over the last 13 years since the ZEV mandate was first adopted, we’ve seen the near impossible accomplished with gasoline vehicles: zero evaporative emissions, exceedingly clean exhaust - cleaner, in some cases, than the outside air entering the cabin for ventilation purposes, and emission control systems that are twice as durable than their conventional forebearers, forecasted to last an astonishing 150,000 miles.”

ZEV Rule Vehicle Types
Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV): A vehicle that essentially produces no emissions as it operates. Currently, this would mean a pure battery electric (not a hybrid) or a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV): An AT-PZEV is a vehicle that uses some ZEV technology. Currently, there are no AT-PZEVs available to consumers. Staff expects that certain gasoline / electric hybrid vehicles and natural gas vehicles will be certified in the AT-PZEV class. A plug-in hybrid could also qualify as an AT-PZEV.

Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle (PZEV): These are vehicles that have achieved the ARB's cleanest tailpipe emission standard -- the Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) standard. In addition, they have nearly zero evaporative emissions and their emission control equipment is warranted for 15 years / 150,000 miles. There are at least ten vehicles currently eligible to earn a partial ZEV credit. They are listed under 2003 passenger cars in the ARB's Clean Car Buyer's Guide 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.

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 costs, see our website at 

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