California has unique authority under Section 209 of the Clean Air Act to issue vehicle emission standards that are stricter than the federal vehicle standards. Other states can adopt California’s standards at their discretion, but cannot adopt their own standards under Section 177 of the Clean Air Act.
As of June 2013, nine additional states have adopted California’s ZEV program. They are: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Other states are able to adopt the program at their discretion. Three other states – Washington, Delaware, and Pennsylvania – are following California’s Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program, but not the ZEV program at present. The nine states are following California’s lead in requiring automakers to produce zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) to improve local air quality and reduce the emissions contributing to climate change. As part of its larger Advanced Clean Cars Program, California’s ZEV program requires major manufacturers of passenger cars and light trucks (up to 8,500 pounds) to attain a certain number of ZEV credits depending on the number of vehicles produced and delivered for sale in the state.
Last Updated in 2013