Increasing Emissions Standards

Automotive Emissions

States that are highly populated have been working on improving emissions standards for many years.  Emissions and gas prices are part of why cars form the late 1970s and through the 1980s were underpowered and unable to actually be exciting to drive because these higher standards meant the cars would need much less horsepower in order to comply with the emission standards that were put on them.  This, of course was not the end of the standard being increases and many states worked to try and figure out what the emission standards should be in order to have cleaner air to breathe.

It’s no secret that California used to have some of the most smog filled areas that could be found in the nation.  The air in Los Angeles used to be considered so thick it was compared to pea soup but the air has gotten cleaner over the last several years and has begun to actually clear up.  The reason the air was even an issue was the fact that smog can create a very unhealthy environment and a bring a greenhouse effect to the entire city which made an even more unbearable situation and the state had to start to do something to change this problem.

Not only did the city of Los Angeles suffer from smog issues, but the entire state of California experiences problems each and every year.  We hear about the wildfires that come in and take over each year and engulf much of the forests in the area with flames.  This causes some environmental issues as well and certainly do not need us emitting carbon monoxide into the atmosphere in huge quantities in which only makes things worse.  Add the fairly dry environment to the mix and it’s hard for fire crews to get the fires under control or to have the smog removed, especially when it continues to get coughed out of the rear end of vehicles.

For many years now California has been the toughest state on emissions and with a newly released announcement from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) the emissions goals have become even stricter.  Mary Nichols, the head of CARB has announced her intentions of pushing the regulations to the goal of having absolutely no emissions from the cars sold in the state by the year 2030.  This will be a progressive move and require a lot of advanced planning, but some of the plans are already in place and being acted on.

So far the plan is the requirement is that 2.7 percent of all new vehicles sold will have zero emissions and the number will increase starting in 2018.  By 2025 the goal is 22 percent of the cars will be zero-emissions with a continued march to 100 percent by 2030.  By hitting these goals the roads of California will be driven by cars that are at or near zero-emissions by the year 2050 as many of the models sold before 2030 will end up out of commission, creating a state of full zero-emissions vehicles.

If these sound like lofty goals and look like Nichols may be out on a limb consider the fact that Governor Jerry Brown has also set a goal for California.  His goal is that the greenhouse-gas emissions be reduced by 80 percent by 2050.  There is no way this task can be accomplished without the help of the vehicle emissions standards that Nichols plans to put in place to bring the total vehicle exhaust emissions down to the level needed to help with the greenhouse gases by the same target date.

For the most part these changes have not rang very favorably with automaker and as they start to see the increased emissions regulations each year it will certainly be interesting to see how these standards work and what vehicle lineups are able to be sold in California.  One automaker CEO has already gone on record hoping no one will purchase the electric vehicle his company has made, not only because the company loses $14,000 every time the vehicle is sold, but also because he wants to see a reversal of these goals and be able to sell and entire lineup of vehicles to one of the country’s most populated states.

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