Release 01-17      
June 28, 2001 


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990
Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
ARB Amends ZEV Rule: Standardizes Chargers & Addresses Automaker Mergers

SACRAMENTO -  The California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board (ARB) today amended its Zero Emission Vehicle rule by standardizing electric vehicle charging equipment.  The ARB also updated the formula used to calculate each manufacturer's required number of ZEVs to reflect recent industry acquisitions and mergers.

    Alan Lloyd, ARB Chairman said, "The move to standardize is an essential step in the growth of EV technology and is needed to provide certainty to the public and manufacturers.  Also, the Board felt that because of its lower costs and durability conductive chargers offered the best option for the future, he added.

    After public testimony from ARB staff, auto manufacturers and others, the ARB approved the staff proposal to select the conductive charging system used by Ford, Honda and several other manufacturers, starting in 2006.  As a result of this action, existing inductive chargers used for General Motors, Toyota and Nissan vehicles will continue to be operated and maintained, but probably will not be expanded.

    ARB staff recommended the conductive systems because they are reliable, durable, less costly more amenable to future plans for putting power back on the grid.  According to staff estimates, conductive charging systems are likely to range in costs from $700 to $1400 whereas inductive charging units can range from $1900 to $3500.  Staff also concluded that because most components of the conductive systems are onboard vehicle manufacturers will find it easier to improve the systems.

    The ARB also adopted a new formula for multi-manufacturer companies that determines the number of ZEVs, Advanced Technology ZEVs and PZEVs based on the total production of a manufacturer and any subsidiaries of which it has more than 50 percent control.  For manufacturers such as Ford, owner of Jaguar and Volvo and a share of Mazda, and Volkswagen, which owns Rolls Royce and Lamborgini, this rule change will result in more ZEVs or advanced technology PZEVs (Partial Zero Emission Vehicles) being required.

    Specifically, Ford will be required to build as many as 165 additional pure ZEVs and 953 Advanced Technology PZEVs at an estimated added cost of about $2.6 million.  Volkswagen, the only other company affected by the rule today, must build an additional 125 PZEVs at an estimated added cost of $100,000.

    ARB Chairman Alan Lloyd said, "Because of the many mergers and acquisitions that have occurred since 1990 when the ZEV rule was adopted, some adjustments in the requirements of each company had to be made.  I think these changes will again allow manufacturers to compete on an even playing field."

    For more on the ARB's ZEV rule, click here.

    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 sample ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy costs, see our website:

# # # # #