This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 30, 2003

California Air Board Allows Fuel-Cell Emphasis in New ZEV Rules

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved modifications to the state's Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program last week, giving automakers greater flexibility in meeting their requirements. Automakers can still meet their requirements by producing a mix of vehicles of which 2 percent are battery-driven electric vehicles (ZEVs), 2 percent are very clean hybrid-electric or natural-gas vehicles (called advanced technology partial ZEVs, or AT PZEVs), and 6 percent are extremely clean conventional vehicles, called partial ZEVs or PZEVs.

Alternately, automakers can produce a mix of vehicles of which 4 percent are AT PZEVs and 6 percent are PZEVs, if they also produce their share of fuel cell vehicles. Under this alternative rule, automakers will be required to provide their market-weighted share of fuel cell vehicles, which (for all automakers combined) must total 250 by 2008, 2,500 by 2011, 25,000 by 2014, and 50,000 by 2017. Automakers can substitute battery electric vehicles to meet half of their fuel-cell-vehicle requirements.

With the ZEV requirements currently on hold because of automaker lawsuits, the new requirements will not go into effect until 2005. See the CARB press release and ZEV Program Web site.