Landmark Clean Cars Rule Will Drive Electric Vehicles

Guest Blog | February 10, 2012 | Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles, Energy Policy


SACE has reported frequently over the past several months about the The EV Project in Tennessee and the ever growing number of charging stations popping up around the region. We’ve heard both enthusiasm and skepticism about their future. Well, now there is more reason to believe that they are here to stay. On January 27, 2012, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved new emissions standards for cars and light-duty trucks through 2025. The new standards are projected to reduce 52 million tons of greenhouse gases, which is the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road for a year, by 2025, and decrease smog-forming emissions by 75 percent. The standards are also expected to save California drivers $5 million in operating costs in 2025 and an average of $6,000 in fuel costs over the life of the car, which more than offsets the average expected $1,900 increase in the price of the vehicle. The longer term benefits of these rules are even more significant.

The standards are the first of their kind in the nation, and will be an example that many states may choose to replicate.  They will be met through a range of strategies, including Greenhouse Gas Standards and Smog-forming Emissions Limits for model year 2017-2025 vehicles, Zero Emissions Vehicle Requirements-1.4 million by 2025 (i.e. Plug-In Electric Vehicles), and a Clean Fuels Goal focused on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and fueling stations. The standards specifically set targets for the number of zero-emissions vehicles that manufacturers must produce for the market. They offer a cleaner option for any type of car you may be seeking today while simultaneously leading a new wave of technological solutions and prototypes for the future. Everyone wins.

Based on the requirements, California expects to see ONE million new super clean cars on the road in the next 10 years.

The Obama Administration also proposed stringent new clean car standards last year. The proposed standards would require cars and light trucks in model years 2017-2025 to meet a fleet-wide average fuel efficiency and emissions standards of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Both of these efforts are huge steps forward in helping reduce global warming pollution and other harmful air pollutants that impact the health of millions of Americans. We hope that our legislators will recognize the benefits that these policies can provide, and support them in order to let all of us enjoy money savings and cleaner air.

To learn more about California’s landmark program, you can visit CARB’s website. You may also be interested in checking out the film Revenge of the Electric Vehicle, recently released on DVD. It can be purchased from New Video,,, and, among other retailers. Please stay tuned for our blog on it coming soon. The EV Project is also hosting a forum on March 6 at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville for those interested in purchasing a EV or hosting a charging station.

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