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Calif. pushes for cleaner cars on roads

  |   Jan. 30, 2012 at 5:14 PM
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- California has voted to increase the number of environmentally clean cars on the state's roads by 2018, officials said.

State regulators have approved rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and put a significantly greater number of pollution-free vehicles on the road, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Under regulations passed by the California Air Resources Board Friday, auto manufacturers will be required to offer more zero- or very low-emission cars such as battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the 2018 model year.

"Today's vote … represents a new chapter for clean cars in California and in the nation as a whole," CARB chairwoman Mary Nichols said.

The board also tightened future emission standards for all new cars, making them the toughest in the United States.

Auto manufacturers, while unsure about some of the provisions, generally support the new regulations, which took three years to develop.

"We know the board wants to push the automakers," Mike Love, national regulatory affairs manager for Toyota Motor Sales, said. "We said we're willing to go along with you and do our best."

"This year, two dozen or more new vehicles are going to come out in the market," Love said of electric and plug-in hybrid models.

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