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Green Update: California Law Requires More Clean Cars by 2025

January 31st, 2012

Los Angeles smog

Manufacturers are behind it, dealers hate it, but the California Air Resources Board (ARB) recently approved a plan to require automakers (those accounting for about 97 percent of new light-vehicle sales) to sell increasing volumes of electric, plug-in hybrid, or fuel cell powered cars by 2025. The target is 15.4 percent of all new cars.

That would translate to 1.4 million such cars (out of over 30 million total) on California roads. Smog emissions would be down 75 percent by 2025, global warming gases by 34 percent. These goals are similar to what the federal EPA standards proposed last year.

ARB, established by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1967, sets the rules to protect air quality in the state. The agency is unique among the states, but others can follow its regulations and standards. Ten other states have plans to adopt the new California Advanced Clean Cars regs, which could double the number of “zero-emissions” vehicles (ZEVs) on U.S. roads.

Naturally, the green groups love it. So do the major manufacturers, with reservations, though the costs of new technologies to implement the claimed $4-6,000 fuel savings over the life of the car would add about $1,900 to the price of a new car in 2025.

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