Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

California’s LEV II exhaust emissions standards apply to Model Year (MY) 2004 and subsequent model year passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles meeting specified exhaust standards. The LEV II standards represent the maximum exhaust emissions for LEVs, Ultra LEVs, and Super Ultra LEVs, including flexible fuel, bi-fuel, and dual-fuel vehicles when operating on an alternative fuel. MY 2009 and subsequent model year passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles must meet specified fleet average greenhouse gas (GHG) exhaust emissions requirements. Each manufacturer must comply with these fleet average GHG requirements, which are based on California Air Resources Board (CARB) calculations. Bi-fuel, flexible fuel, dual-fuel, and grid-connected hybrid electric vehicles may be eligible for an alternative compliance method.

In December 2012, CARB finalized regulatory requirements, referred to as LEV III, which allow vehicle manufacturer compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GHG requirements for MY 2017-2025 to serve as compliance with California’s adopted GHG emissions requirements for those same model years.

In August 2022, CARB approved LEV IV standards, which updates regulations for light- and medium-duty internal combustion engine vehicles by reducing allowable exhaust emissions and emissions caused by evaporation. LEV IV also changes the calculation procedure for new vehicle fleet-average emissions and prohibits zero emissions vehicles from being considered in fleet-average emissions calculations by MY 2029.

For more information, see the CARB LEV website for more information.

(Reference California Code of Regulations Title 13, Section 1961-1961.3)

Jurisdiction: California

Type: Laws and Regulations

Amended: Aug 1, 2012

Technologies: Biodiesel, Ethanol, EVs, HEVs, Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Natural Gas, PHEVs, Propane (LPG)

See all California Laws and Incentives.