California Approves Clean Cars Standards, Speeds Toward a Future Free from Tailpipe Pollution

August 25, 2022
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718,

(August 25, 2022) – The California Air Resources Board just approved new standards that will ensure all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state will be zero-emitting by 2035. The move will ultimately eliminate all climate and health-harming tailpipe pollution from those cars and trucks – one of the largest sources of pollution both in California and nationally.

“California’s new standards will save thousands of lives, protect people’s heath and our climate from dangerous pollution, and save families more than $13,000 in gas costs over the life of their new car. That’s in addition to the huge savings people will get thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act – tax credits of $7500 for buying a new clean vehicle or $4000 for buying a used one. These standards will also help create a renaissance for American manufacturing, with thousands of good new jobs,” said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund. “The standards passed today move California to the head of the pack in the race for clean transportation. Thanks to the state’s leadership, California – and our entire country – are now speeding toward a safer and healthier future with no tailpipe pollution.”

The California Air Resources Board voted in favor of the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) standards after an all-day hearing today. The standards have strong support from major automakers, other businesses, healthcare systems, employers, investors, and environmental groups including EDF.

An EDF analysis found that ensuring all new passenger cars and trucks sold in California in 2035 are zero-emitting vehicles will:

  • Prevent more than 7,400 premature deaths in the state by 2050
  • Eliminate more than 1.2 billion tons of climate pollution by 2050
  • Significantly reduce dangerous smog-forming and particulate pollution
  • Save Californians who buy a zero-emitting vehicle in 2035 more than $13,000 over the life of the vehicle in fuel costs, compared to a gas-powered car

All Americans, including Californians, can save more money under the recently adopted Inflation Reduction Act, the single largest climate investment in U.S. history, which tax credits designed help make zero emitting cars and passenger trucks more accessible. Consumer Reports has a list of current models that are expected to qualify for the tax credits. Right now there are 15 electric passenger vehicle models available for under $40,000 manufacturer’s suggested retail price, with a driving range of more than 100 miles not including any incentives.

California’s transportation sector is the greatest contributor to climate and health-harming pollution in the state. It accounts for about 80 percent of ozone-forming pollution and approximately half of statewide climate pollution (those figures include pollution from transportation fuel production and delivery). California has long standing authority under the Clean Air Act to set protective vehicle emissions standards. A waiver provision in the Clean Air Act allows California to adopt standards that are at least as protective as federal standards to safeguard Californians against the unhealthy air pollution emitted by cars and trucks.

Tom Cackette testified on EDF’s behalf in favor of the new standards at today’s California Air Resources Board hearing. You can read his testimony here.

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One of the world’s leading international nonprofit organizations, Environmental Defense Fund ( creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. To do so, EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. With more than 3 million members and offices in the United States, China, Mexico, Indonesia and the European Union, EDF’s scientists, economists, attorneys and policy experts are working in 28 countries to turn our solutions into action. Connect with us on Twitter @EnvDefenseFund