ARB Holds to ZEV Mandate
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO – California is holding firm toits zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, directing automakers to producebetween 4,450 and 15,450 electric cars starting in 2003.
The California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board (ARB) Thursday night voted to keep the 10-year-oldZEV Mandate in place, while making modifications giving automakers additionaloptions in meeting their ZEV requirements.
"This action keeps us steadily moving along the roadto an ever-increasing number of zero emission vehicles," said ARB ChairmanDr. Alan Lloyd. "We envision a future where consumers have an expandedrange of clean-car choices when they shop for an automobile," he added.
The modifications enacted Thursday require automakersto begin putting new ZEVs on California roads by 2003. The numberof ZEVs in 2003 can vary from 4,450 to 15,450, depending on the type ofZEVs the individual automakers chose to bring to market. Meanwhile,the Board's action also requires about 100,000 other highly clean vehiclesin 2003 with this number increasing to more than 400,000 by 2006.
The Board also decided to begin in 2007 includingheavier sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans in the sales figuresused to calculate the number of ZEVs each automaker is required to sellin California. This will increase the number of vehicles used tocalculate ZEV requirements from just under 1 million to more than 1.5 million. "More SUV sales will mean more ZEV sales," Dr. Lloyd said.
The ARB's Thursday night meeting saw a major automakerfor the first time voice acceptance of the ZEV Mandate. A spokesmanfor Ford addressed the Board, saying the automaker is prepared to fulfillits share of the ZEV requirement in 2003.
ARB's ZEV mandate is meeting its goal of spurringautomakers to develop not just battery-powered electric vehicles but alsoother new clean-car technologies, including fuel cell vehicles, electric-gasolinehybrids and superclean gasoline vehicles.
Dr. Lloyd pointed out that automakers get incentivesfor introducing ZEVs prior to 2003. "We could start seeing new electricvehicles on California's roads as soon as next year," the ARB Chairmansaid.