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Low Carbon Fuel Standard in California

Key findings from the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies’ 2015 Status Review of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard:

  • The equivalent of about 7 million gallons of gasoline was replaced due to an estimated increase of plug-in electric vehicles from 60,000 in early 2014 to 115,000 by the end of 2014
  • A low cost of about one third of one cent per gallon for LCFS compliance through early 2015
  • Of the total amount of biofuels, ethanol decreased from about 90% of the total biofuels in 2011 to 54% in 2014.
  • Renewable diesel and biodiesel increased their contribution from 9%  of the total amount of biofuels in 2011 to 54% in 2014
  • A 15% reduction in CI from 2011-2014

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is administered by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and seeks to reduce the carbon intensity (CI), or the average amount of carbon emissions from fuel, of transportation fuels. The LCFS has already decreased CI by about 1%, and the 2020 goal is for a 10% reduction. This program has been delayed by a court ruling, but the ARB will update their plan for reaching the 2020 target this July.