California Moves Closer to Adopting Historic Clean Car Standards

June 9, 2022
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718,

(June 9, 2022) The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is holding a hearing today that will bring the state closer to adopting historic standards that will ultimately eliminate pollution from new cars and passenger trucks sold in California by 2035. The final vote on adoption of the rule is expected in August.

“We are eager to see California adopt these standards and achieve this historic milestone,” said Alice Henderson, Director of Transportation and Clean Air Policy for Environmental Defense Fund. “Reaching 100% sales of zero-emitting new cars and trucks by 2035 will be one of the most significant steps California, and our nation, have ever taken to reduce the climate and air pollution that endangers us all. It will also save Californians money at the gas pump and will help grow well-paying jobs in the state and around the country. We urge CARB to finalize standards that include equity provisions to ensure that overburdened communities are able to participate in and benefit from the program.”

EDF was one of many groups that testified in support of strong clean car standards at today’s hearing. EDF also submitted written comments to CARB that included detailed analyses of the both the benefits of zero-emitting vehicles and the market for them. Recent EDF analysis found that if the rule is adopted and all new cars, SUVs and passenger trucks sold in California are zero-emitting by 2035, it would:

  • 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, compared to a gas-powered car
  • Save the state of California at least $194 billion in health and economic benefits by 2050

Other analyses show that the cost of zero-emitting vehicles if declining significantly and show market data underscoring that the rapid transition to zero-emitting vehicles is already underway.

There was also widespread support among automakers for protective Advanced Clean Car II Standards, both at today’s hearing and in filed comments.  For instance, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents 98% of the car and light truck industry, submitted comments stating it “share[s] the ambition of California to converge upon a future mobility system of zero-emission vehicles” and “will work to meet the standards CARB ultimately adopts.” 

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