White paper

Vehicle electrification policy study: Task 2 — Metrics

Transforming the passenger and light-duty vehicle fleet into one more heavily reliant on electric vehicles will demand collaboration among government, industry, other stakeholders, and the public—no simple venture to manage at any time. To help chart a course, in 2010 the International Council on Clean Transportation undertook a study of public policies aimed at advancing vehicle electrification.

The Vehicle Electrification Policy Study focuses on the California Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, which since 2001 has required major automakers to market increasing numbers of BEVs or FCEVs in California. But it places the California program in a global context, so the analysis and findings will be of use in other jurisdictions as well.

The study is organized around five tasks, with the results of each task presented in a separate policy report. This document reports ICCT analysis and findings regarding metrics to measure manufacturer compliance with ZEV requirements.

The California ZEV program requires that large volume manufacturers produce and offer for sale in California a specified number of ZEVs. The existing ZEV program requirements are primarily expressed in terms of the number of vehicles that must be offered for sale, with adjustments for different types of vehicles.

The ZEV program supports three broad statewide policy goals:

  • Reduce criteria pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce gasoline and diesel fuel demand, and
  • Maintain leadership in environmental technology policy and foster job growth

ARB staff have defined two major technology development objectives for the ZEV regulation:

  • Launch ZEV markets to commercial scale by 2025
  • Encourage a diversified spectrum of ZEV applications in the light-duty vehicle sector

This framing of the issue, under which the role of the ZEV program is to advance technology to the point where meaningful numbers of ZEVs can be deployed, is appropriate. Only then will significant emission and petroleum reductions be achieved.

ARB staff have previously identified several metrics (also known as “credit factors”) under consideration. The ICCT team and other observers have identified other metrics of possible interest. Although California is the only jurisdiction that has a regulatory ZEV production mandate, metrics are used in other jurisdictions to determine eligibility for subsidies and, in some cases, to determine the amount of subsidy received. Thus, they are functionally similar to the ZEV credit metrics, which determine the amount of ZEV credit earned by each vehicle.