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A waiver granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 27, 2012, allowed the Amendments to the California Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Regulation to become effective immediately. California had passed the law in early 2012, but it could not become effective without the EPA waiver. Other states which currently adhere to California emissions rules may choose to adopt the same mandate as well; those states include Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The mandate requires automakers to sell zero emission vehicles, such as electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles along with plug-in hybrid vehicles in increasing quantities beginning in 2018. Electric and fuel cell vehicle sales get full ZEV credit, but plug-in hybrids only get partial credits based on their all-electric range. There is a cap on the share of plug-in hybrid sales that can be used to meet the mandate. In 2018, 4.5% of the manufacturer's sales must be ZEVs or a mixture of ZEVs and plug-in hybrids; by 2025, it rises to 22%.

For additional details concerning this mandate, see the California Air Resources Board Zero Emission Vehicle Program website.

Estimated Sales of Zero-Emission Vehicles under the 2012 Amended Mandate in California, 2018–2025
Graph showing estimated sales of zero-emission vehicles under the 2012 Amended Mandate in California from 2018 through 2025. Y axis shows estimated vehicle sales in thousands, X axis shows manufacturer's share of sales by year by percentage. Data section contains two parts, a yellow section for zero-emission vehicles (electric and/or hydrogen fuel cell) and a blue section below that for plug-in hybrid vehicles, which is the larger of the two data segments.

Supporting Information

California Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Sales, as Mandated by the 2012 Amendments to the California Zero-Emission Vehicle Regulation
Model Year Transitional ZEVs
(Plug-In Hybrids)
(Electric and/or Hydrogen Fuel Cell)
Total ZEV Sales Requirements
2018 61,000 17,000 4.5%
2019 75,000 33,000 7.0%
2020 89,000 49,000 9.5%
2021 102,000 61,000 12.0%
2022 116,000 75,000 14.5%
2023 131,000 87,000 17.0%
2024 147,000 99,000 19.5%
2025 162,000 109,000 22.0%

Note: Only the largest automakers are subject to the mandate: BMW, Chrysler Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
Sources: Crain Communications, Automotive News, "ZEV 'straitjacket'?," January 7, 2013. (Original source of estimated sales: California Air Resources Board.) California Air Resources Board, Final Regulation Order: §1962.2 Zero Emission Vehicle Standards for 2018 and subsequent Model Year Passenger Cars, Light-Duty Trucks, and Medium-Duty Vehicles.

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