California Approves Rules to Cut Auto Greenhouse Emissions
September 29, 2004
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved new regulations on September 24th requiring automakers to sell vehicles that produce lower emissions of greenhouse gases. The new regulations begin to phase-in during the 2009 model year and gradually tighten until 2016, when the average new car or light truck sold in California will be required to emit 30 percent lower greenhouse gases than today's vehicles. The CARB staff estimates that costs for the added technology needed to meet the rule will average about $325 per vehicle in 2012 and about $1050 per vehicle in 2016. However, lower operating costs for the vehicles will result in a net savings to consumers, according to analyses by CARB. See the CARB press release and the full regulatory documents.
Although restricting greenhouse gas emissions from cars is often equated with fuel economy, that's not the full story. In June, CARB issued a report on greenhouse gas reduction technologies that suggested a variety of fuel-saving technologies—including improved engine technologies, turbocharging combined with smaller engines, and automated manual transmissions—but also suggested technologies to cut emissions of refrigerants from cars' air conditioning systems. Many refrigerants are powerful greenhouse gases. See the report (PDF 1.1 MB). Download Acrobat Reader.