CARB Announces Draft ZEV Changes, Workshop
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released its draft proposal of the revised zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) requirement, in anticipation of a workshop to further refine and solicit comment on the proposal. Key points in the revised ZEV rules draft include a commitment to preserve the pure ZEV requirement, postponing the implementation from 2003 until 2005, providing for more flexibility in fulfilling the ZEV requirement, extending the credit provision for neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs), reducing the battery warranty for battery electric vehicles, and augmenting the emissions credits granted for fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure. A workshop scheduled for December 5-6, 2002, will provide a forum for input and education, as well as for discussion of possible solutions involving an injunction by the auto industry stalling ZEV implementation. In the revised offering, advanced technology partial zero-emission vehicles (ATPZEVs), including hybrid-electric and super ultra low emission vehicles (SULEVs), will play a greater part in the transitional period as California moves toward a hydrogen economy and fuel cell vehicles. Some observers note an overly optimistic reliance on the advancement of fuel cell technology, but are encouraged by recent statements from CARB Chairman Alan Lloyd that the agency remains committed to driving technology through the ZEV mandate.