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What Are the Carb States and What Does Carb Compliant Mean?

Imagine that you’re living in Los Angeles in the 1940s. You leave your home to go to the market, but you can barely see your surrounding environment due to an influx of smog. You can only see three blocks ahead of you. You feel the piercing, burning pain in your eyes and feel unwell taking in whatever is in the air. You wonder if there is a chemical attack or something else, but whatever it is, it’s not pleasant and affecting your environment (literally). 

While this may sound like some sort of fiction, this actually happened in 1943 in Los Angeles. After thinking it was a nearby plant causing the problem, it was later realized that smog from cars was the primary culprit. That incident caused a domino effect in Los Angeles with the city creating the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District and by 1967 establishing the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Now, California has some of the strictest requirements when it comes to smog and emissions, thanks to CARB. As a driver, you may come across this term and wonder what is CARB and what does CARB compliant mean? We’ve broken it down for you in this brief guide. 

What CARB and CARB Compliant Actually Means | Metromile

What does CARB refer to? 

If you’ve seen the acronym CARB related to cars, you probably understand it’s not related to carbs like pasta or bread. CARB refers to the California Air Resources Board and is the state of California’s agency that was created to help combat air pollution in 1967. 

What’s important to note is that California has been a leader in combatting the effects of air pollution and is a trailblazer in the field. The federal Clean Air Act noticed California’s efforts and aimed to reduce air pollution on a national level — while giving California the ability to set its own unique and even stricter standards for emission regulations. 

Since its inception, CARB has done many notable things to reduce emissions including:

  • Setting the nation’s first tailpipe emission standards
  • Creating nationwide standards related to vehicle greenhouse gas emissions
  • Regulations related to manufacturers creating more zero-emission vehicles (ZEV)
  • Eliminating lead in gasoline 
  • Creating new standards for clean-burning fuel 

On top of that, CARB was given the responsibility of monitoring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change in the 2000s. As you can see, the agency has done a lot to help the state of California and is a leader on the national stage when it comes to setting standards related to air pollution. 

What is CARB compliant?

The state agency CARB recently made changes where certain vehicles must be deemed ‘CARB compliant’. But what is carb compliant, exactly?

As of 2020, the Department of Motor Vehicles, in collaboration with CARB, began verifying compliance with certain vehicles to ensure certain standards were met. It is specifically related to a Truck and Bus Regulation to get emissions up-to-date to current standards. 

This is geared toward diesel trucks and buses, so not necessarily the everyday passenger car. To become CARB compliant, drivers must replace their 2010 or older trucks or buses or use an acceptable alternative while reporting as part of the Truck Regulation Upload, Compliance and Reporting System (TRUCRS).

If you need to become CARB compliant and don’t, the DMV may place a hold on your registration. Additionally, if you need assistance to make that happen there are CARB compliant funding programs that can help you out listed here. 

CARB compliant can also refer to other things that are not motor vehicles such as generators, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and other types of power equipment. CARB has specific regulations for those items to help reduce pollution. 

Which states are considered CARB states? 

While CARB refers to the California Air Resources Board, other states have joined forces to adopt similar emission standards in their own states. As noted above, California has the ability to set stricter standards and other states are following suit with their own clean air programs. 

Currently, there are 14 other CARB states plus the District of Columbia that have adopted California’s emission standards. The CARB states (aside from California) include:

  1. Colorado
  2. Connecticut
  3. Delaware
  4. Maine
  5. Maryland
  6. Massachusetts
  7. New Jersey
  8. New York 
  9. Oregon
  10. Pennsylvania
  11. Rhode Island
  12. Vermont
  13. Virginia 
  14. Washington 
  15. Washington D.C. 

There are other states such as Minnesota, New Mexico, as well as Nevada that are working toward passing legislation to become CARB states. 

CARB vs: EPA

CARB refers to the California Air Resources Board whereas the EPA refers to the Environmental Protection Agency. Both entities work toward reducing air pollution and emissions but have some differences. 

CARB is the state agency in California and the EPA is the federal agency overseeing things nationwide. As noted previously, CARB can have even tougher requirements than the EPA though. California and other CARB states must abide by CARB compliance, whereas other states would have to defer to the emission standards set by the EPA. 

The bottom line 

If you see the term CARB or have a requirement to become CARB compliant, now you have an idea of what it all means. The state agency has paved the way for other CARB states to reduce air pollution and emissions and create a world that is healthier and safer for you and the environment. 

If you’re a low-mileage driver, see how you can reduce emissions and save money with pay-per-mile auto insurance through Metromile. Grab a free quote to see how much you could save. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Electric Cars Pros and Cons

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you may have your eye on an electric vehicle (EV). Maybe you want to reduce your environmental impact or simply save money on gas — or you just like the look of the new Tesla and you’re sold. But then you hear that nagging voice, “Are electric cars worth it?” Before deciding on going fully electric or not, you want to understand the benefits of electric cars. Read on to review electric cars pros and cons to help make your decision easier.

Benefits of electric cars

f you’re wondering are electric cars worth it, it’s key to understand all the benefits of electric cars. Owning an electric vehicle has its perks, so let’s review.

You can save a lot of money

Have you ever lamented about how high the cost of gas is while at the pump? Imagine those days are gone. Instead of filling up your gas tank each week and feeling like it’s taking a good chunk of your discretionary income, you could save a lot of money by going electric. When you have an electric car, you no longer need any gas to fuel your car. 

Instead, you need electricity which is much more affordable. According to Energy.gov, you could reduce costs by 50% by going electric when compared to gas. You can even use their nifty eGallon tool to compare the costs of driving with gas versus electricity. For example, in California, it shows that the cost of gasoline is $3.73 per gallon compared to $1.86 for electricity. 

Being able to cut your costs in half is remarkable for your budget and can reduce your overall spending, freeing up money to put elsewhere — like savings, debt, or even a fun hobby.

Electricity is renewable

The thing about gas is that it’s a finite resource as it uses oil to create gas. Oil is a natural resource. Given everything going on with climate change, it’s important to take a harder look at natural resources and the way they’re being used. 

That’s why electric vehicles are an attractive alternative. Unlike gas which can technically run out, electricity can be renewable. It’s possible to get electricity in renewable ways such as through wind or water powers or even solar energy. 

Renewable energy is on the rise as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted that usage reached record highs as of 2020, making it 12% of energy consumption. According to the EIA website, “The electric power sector accounted for about 60% of total U.S. renewable energy consumption in 2020, and about 20% of total U.S. electricity generation was from renewable energy sources.”

You can lower greenhouse gas emissions

One of the major benefits of electric cars is the fact that you can reduce your environmental impact. Regular vehicles that use gas greatly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as of 2019 transportation makes up 29% of greenhouse gas emissions, effectively the largest contributor next to electricity (25%), industry (23%), commercial and residential (13%), and agriculture (10%). 

Electric cars don’t have an exhaust pipe to create greenhouse gas emissions. That’s not to say there is no environmental impact. 

If you use coal or natural gas to power electricity, it can leave carbon pollution. If you use one of the more natural ways listed above, you don’t contribute to carbon pollution. 

The EPA does state on their website, “Even accounting for these electricity emissions, research shows that an EV is typically responsible for lower levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) than an average new gasoline car. To the extent that more renewable energy sources like wind and solar are used to generate electricity, the total GHGs associated with EVs could be even lower.”
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the national averages for annual emissions per vehicle is 11,435 pounds of CO2 equivalent for a gasoline vehicle whereas for all-electric vehicles it is 3,774 pounds of CO2 equivalent which represents 3x less CO2 than gasoline vehicles.

You can take advantage of tax credits

Another major perk of owning an electric car is the tax credits you could qualify for. According to the U.S. Department of Energy website, you could get up to $7,500 in tax credits. Your car must be all-electric or plug-in hybrid and made in 2010 or later to qualify. 

Tax credits are more effective than deductions at lowering the amount you pay in taxes as they’re dollar-for-dollar. Meaning, if you owed $10,000 you could effectively lower your tax bill up to a maximum of $7,500 and only pay $2,500. 

It’s important to note that the tax credit is only available up to the limit. So if your tax bill is only $2,000, you can receive the credit for up to $2,000 and the rest won’t help your tax situation any further. Deductions lower your taxable income which can lower how much you pay in taxes but is not dollar-for-dollar.

Less maintenance is required

When you have a regular car, you need to fill up the gas tank regularly and also change your oil at regular intervals. All of that can add to the cost and time it requires to maintain the car. When it comes to considering electric cars pros and cons, this is a huge benefit. On top of that, there may be fewer repairs needed as well.

Better performance

Electric cars tend to be much quieter than gas vehicles. That noise reduction can improve performance and quality of life and lead to a smooth ride on the road. Electric vehicles tend to be more energy efficient in stop-and-go traffic as well and electric motors actually react faster than mechanical engines. All of these factors combined make for a better performance and experience as both a driver and passenger.

Downsides of electric cars

Now that you know the benefits of electric cars, it’s time to consider the cons as well. Here are the most common downsides of electric cars.

Electric cars can be pricey

Though you can benefit from the cost savings on gas, there’s no doubt that electric cars are more expensive than standard cars to buy. In some cases, thousands of dollars more. 

But Business Insider recently discovered that there is a new group of EVs priced at $35,000. Additionally, Axios noted that electric vehicles are more expensive to buy but not to own. Due to lower maintenance costs it may all even out. But just be aware that you could pay a higher sticker price.

Charging can be a lengthy process

When you have an electric vehicle, you can’t just go to the pump and get on your way. You do have to charge your vehicle for it to work properly. Depending on your make, model, and year, your EV could take between 4 and 20 hours or more to charge. Having a charging station in your home can certainly help, but you need to make sure you budget for that time to adequately charge your vehicle.

You can’t go as far or as long as gas cars

A major downside to owning an electric vehicle is that you can’t go as far or as long as you might want. Electric vehicles can typically go between 60-100 miles when fully charged, but many modern EVs may get up to 250 to 350 miles per charge. Compare that to up to a maximum of 400 miles on a single gas tank (depending on car and efficiency), it’s a notable difference. Going on a road trip is less ideal in this scenario with an electric car.

Finding a station can be tough

If you don’t have a charging station at home, you’re at the mercy of public charging stations. While some cities may have plentiful options, not every place does and it can all depend. The lack of stations in your area could present a challenge if you’re in a bind and need to go somewhere. Be sure to do research about charging stations in your neighborhood and what options are available.

Car insurance premiums may increase

Another downside to consider is that car insurance premiums may be higher with an electric vehicle. The website ValuePenguin found that electric vehicle insurance premiums were 23% higher than regular cars. Part of that is due to the fact that electric cars can be more expensive. So if something were to happen to you, it may cost more to repair.

Electric cars pros and cons

ProsCons 
You can save a lot of money Electric cars can be pricey 
Electricity is renewable Charging can be a lengthy process
You can reduce your environmental impact You can’t go as far or as long as gas cars 
You can take advantage of tax credits Finding a station can be tough 
Less maintenance is required Car insurance premiums may increase 
Better performance 

Are electric cars worth it?

If you’ve been thinking of buying a new car it’s natural to wonder, are electric cars worth it? The benefits of electric cars are generous and pretty clear cut but you also want to know about electric cars cons as well. It may cost more to buy and insure your car, but you’ll likely make up some of that with reduced costs on fuel.

If you are thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle, chances are you don’t drive much or are actively looking to drive less. Pay-per-mile auto insurance can be a good fit for you and help you lower car insurance costs.

You can see if pay-per-mile car insurance is right for you with Metromile. Download the Metromile app and take a Ride Along™ trial for free. For about two weeks, you’ll drive like you typically do (you should keep your existing insurance policy to keep covered during the trial). After, you’ll see how much you could save if you switched to a usage-based insurance policy.

Drivers can also save up to an extra 15% off their initial Metromile auto insurance quote if they show they’re a safe driver during their Ride Along™ in select states.

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

The Top 10 Questions About Electric Cars, Answered

How Do Electric Cars Work | Metromile

You’ve heard about electric cars, and now you’re thinking of buying one. The only problem might be that you have a few questions. 

While electric cars might be cool or more popular nowadays, there can still be some confusion. We’ve gone ahead and answered the top 10 most common questions about electric cars.

1. When was the first electric car made?

While you might think electric vehicles are a modern phenomenon, electric cars are older than you think. 

The first electric vehicle was created as early as 1828. It wasn’t until the 1870s that electric vehicles became smaller scale, more usable, and practical.

2. How do electric cars work?

Electric vehicles, sometimes called battery electric vehicles, “have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine,” according to the U.S. Department of Energy. “The vehicle uses a large traction battery pack to power the electric motor and must be plugged into a wall outlet or charging equipment, also called electric vehicle supply equipment.” 

Electric cars don’t use liquid fuel, so there aren’t any fuel pumps, fuel lines, or fuel tanks. Because they run on electricity, they also don’t emit any car exhaust from their tailpipes.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

3. Do electric cars use oil?

Electric cars don’t use oil. Instead, electric vehicles use electricity stored in a battery to run an electric motor.

Because electric vehicles operate differently from traditional cars, this also means they don’t require oil changes as a part of your car maintenance checklist.

4. Do electric cars have transmissions?

One of the major differences between conventional cars and electric vehicles is the transmission. Electric cars don’t have different speed transmissions. Instead, electric cars have just one single-speed transmission, which is part of the electric motor that runs the car.

5. How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Charge times for electric cars can vary based on different factors, such as the battery size and charging capacity. Cold weather and other environmental factors can also impact charging speed.

According to Kelley Blue Book, which used data from car manufacturers’ websites, electric vehicles can take as few as four hours to as long as 12 hours to max out its charge.

Here’s how long it might take for some common electric vehicles to charge fully:

Charging time of major electrical car models

6. How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

The cost to charge an electric vehicle depends on local electricity costs and whether you have to pay to use a charger. In California, electric vehicles might cost about $7 or more to fully charge. 

According to FuelEconomy.gov, there are sometimes free public chargers available, while other chargers may have a flat fee, a monthly subscription, or a per-use cost by time. 

You can also consider purchasing an at-home charger for your vehicle, which could cost between $400 to $1,000. You should also budget for any installation or set-up costs, such as fees, permits, or long-term maintenance.

7. How do I charge an electric car?

There are three main ways to charge an electric vehicle: 

  1. Level 1 charger: This is a regular 120-volt outlet in your home and the slowest way to charge your car. Your car will likely come with a cord for you to use this type of charging at home. 
  2. Level 2 charger: If you’re looking to charge your electric car outside of the home, it’ll likely be a 240-volt or 208-volt charger. Level 2 chargers can charge your electric vehicle more quickly. You can also install a Level 2 charger at home. 
  3. Fast charger: Fast or rapid electric vehicle chargers, sometimes called DC fast charging or DC quick charging, is typically the fastest charge available. You could get up to 50 miles or more in range after about 20 minutes. Fast charging isn’t available for all electric cars, so be sure to check your car owner’s manual before you try to use a fast charger. 

You’ll want to check your owner’s manual to see which type of charger works with the make and model of your electric car.

8. How much are electric cars?

Electric vehicles vary in price by make, model, and year, with some costing as much as a traditional entry-level car.

Here are the typical starting costs of some common electric vehicles in the United States:

typical car cost for electrical models

9. Are electric cars better for the environment?

Electric vehicles can be better for the environment because they can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Because they don’t use fossil fuels or gas to run an engine or motor, electric vehicles don’t produce any tailpipe emissions.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “While charging the battery may increase pollution at the power plant, total emissions associated with driving electric vehicles are still typically less than those for gasoline cars—particularly if the electricity is generated from renewable energy sources like wind.”

10. Who makes electric car batteries?

As electric cars become more popular and commonplace, the need for electric car batteries has increased. There are now many electric car battery manufacturers. 

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, many electric vehicle battery pack manufacturers are assembled in the United States. 

Some major electric car battery manufacturers include:

battery makes for electrical cars

The bottom line

Electric vehicles aren’t just a trendy fad but are here to stay. They can be a more environmentally friendly way to drive compared to traditional cars.

If you drive an electric car or are thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle, chances are you don’t drive much or are actively looking to drive less. Pay-per-mile auto insurance can be a good fit for you and help you lower car insurance costs.

You can see if pay-per-mile car insurance is right for you with Metromile. Download the Metromile app and take a Ride Along™ trial for free. For about two weeks, you’ll drive like you typically do (you should keep your existing insurance policy to keep covered during the trial). After, you’ll see how much you could save if you switched to a usage-based insurance policy.
Drivers can also save up to an extra 15% off their initial Metromile auto insurance quote if they show they’re a safe driver during their Ride Along™ in select states.


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.