Summary: The 2002 passage of the Pavley Bill in California was the first time that a law in the United States addressed the issue of greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. In 2004, California adopted a new set of vehicle emission standards to implement the Pavley law. The regulations require automakers to produce vehicles that will, on average, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 30% from 2002 levels by 2016. Increased efficiency through the use of improved vehicle technology is expected to be the primary method for obtaining these reductions. Several other states have adopted California’s emissions program.
California’s vehicle emission standards were harmonized with the federal fuel economy and greenhouse gas programs upon the adoption of new, more stringent federal fuel economy standards in April 2010 for model years 2012-2016. California is also working with the US. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to set standards for model years 2017-2025. Proposed standards are expected in September 2011. California standards for this period will either coincide with federal standards or may be stronger.
In 2008, California adopted new GHG regulations to reduce emissions through the fuel efficiency improvement of tractor-trailers. Between 2010 and 2020, tractor-trailers are subject to stringent fuel economy regulations.
↑ Top of Page