Given that the California Air Resources Board recently awarded its lowest emissions score ever to a natural gas-powered vehicle — and not an electric vehicle — it’s odd that the state and its strict emissions regulators recently indicated a plan to follow China’s footsteps in phasing out entirely the internal combustion engine.
Governor Jerry Brown is behind the push, according to CARB chair Mary Nichols.
“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’” Nichols told Bloomberg.com, referring to China’s planned phase-out of fossil-fuel vehicle sales. “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California.”
Tom Quimby, editor of CCJ sister publication Hard Working Trucks, takes CARB to task on the subject in a recent blog post. He notes that CARB’s lowest emissions score ever went to a renewable natural gas vehicle produced by AMP Americas at its Fair Oaks Farm in Indiana. AMP’s -255 carbon intensity (CI) score easily beat diesel (98 CI), traditional natural gas (79 CI) and California electric (35).
“It’s no secret that California has been going its own way on emissions and other big issues. That’s not the point here. The point is that the internal combustion engine, by CARB’s own admission, is far superior to that of an electric powertrain in terms of its carbon intensity score,” Quimby writes.
Despite CARB’s admission, Quimby writes, the state still has a “narrow fixation on electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles” — an error in judgment by California’s powerful ARB, says Quimby.