Air Board to Consider New Vehicle Emission Standards Board Also to Receive Ballard Fuel Cell Demonstrator Unit
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO – New, more stringent emission standards for minivans, passenger cars, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are scheduled to be voted on Thursday during a meeting of the California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board (ARB) at ARB's southern California headquarters, 9530 Telstar Ave., in El Monte.
Preceding the meeting, the Board will formally receive a 100 watt portable fuel cell demonstrator unit manufactured by Ballard Power Systems of Burnaby, Canada. Firoz Rasul, President and CEO of Ballard, will present the unit, about the size of a large tissue box. It will be on display outside the meeting room where it can be seen powering a TV/VCR combo. ARB will host the unit for six months as a means of learning about the energy potential offered by fuel cells in the future - in mobile, stationary and portable applications.
MEDIA COVERAGE -- DETAILS
Thursday, November 5, 1998
8:45 a.m.- Pre-meeting Fuel Cell Power System On Display
9:00 a.m.- Meeting Begins with Public Presentations, including the Fuel Cell demonstrator unit
9:30 a.m.- Staff Presentation of Vehicle Emissions Proposal
Please Note: This is the only item on the agenda, and is expected to take all day to complete
WHERE: ARB southern California headquarters -- El Monte 9530 Telstar Ave. (just south of I-10, between Rosemead Blvd. and Flair Dr.)
On-site contacts: Rich Varenchik (626) 575-6730 and Jerry Martin (916) 322-2990.
LEV II - BACKGROUND
The new, Low-Emission Vehicle standards, known as LEV II, will run from 2004 through 2010, following the current LEV standards which run from 1994 through 2003. LEV II would tighten the existing LEV standards in a number of areas as a way to advance the state's clean air goals and meet federally-mandated reductions in air emissions by the year 2010.
Among the LEV II standards proposed are:
- Extending passenger car emission standards to mini vans, pickup trucks and SUVs up to 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight. These vehicles are currently regulated under less stringent "truck" emission standards which allow some of them to have emissions 150 percent to 250 percent higher than passenger cars.
- An extension and general tightening of the fleet average emission standards (a "fleet" includes all new vehicles an automaker sells in California in any given year).
- A reduction of up to 75 percent in oxides of nitrogen emissions (one of the main contributors to smog) in autos classified as low and ultra-low emission vehicles.
- Increasing from 100,000 miles to 120,000 miles the durability of emission control equipment.
- Further reductions in vehicle evaporative emissions.
- Adjustments to the state's zero emission vehicle program.
As the state's passenger vehicle fleet continues to grow, more SUVs and pickup trucks are being used as passenger cars. Mini vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs now account for nearly 50 percent of new car sales in California. The new, more stringent LEV II standards are necessary for California to meet federally-mandated clean air goals. As currently proposed, the LEV II rules, when fully implemented in 2010, would mean an estimated reduction of smog-forming emissions in the Los Angeles area by 57 tons per day; while the statewide reduction would be 155 tons per day.
The LEV II rules will apply only to new cars sold starting in 2004 and will not require any retroactive repairs or modifications to vehicles sold before 2004.
FUEL CELL - BACKGROUND
The 100 Watt Portable Fuel Cell Demonstrator is a fully automated power system which converts hydrogen and oxygen from air directly into DC electricity. Water vapor is the only by-product of the reaction. These "ambient" fuel cell systems, which operate at low pressures, provide reliable, clean, quiet and efficient power. They are small and rugged enough to be carried or transported wherever power is needed to provide multiple opportunities and applications. The 100 Watt Ballard Fuel Cell generator has been demonstrated in powering applications such as a TV/VCR combo, laptop computer, lamp, stereo, etc.