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USA: Can California change US cars forever? New zero-emissions rules take aim.

California has adopted new rules that require 15 percent of all cars sold in the state to be electric, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen-powered by 2025. Perhaps surprisingly, automakers are onboard.

Confirming its role as a national trend-setter on auto emissions, California passed stringent new standards Friday intended to boost the production and sale of electric and hybrid vehicles here and nationwide.

The new rules passed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) mandate that 15 percent of new cars sold in the state by 2025 run with zero emissions or near-zero emissions. The result would be some 1.4 million electric, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen cars on California roads within 13 years. Today, there are 10,000 such vehicles in the state.

Critics such as auto dealers note that California has attempted to spur sales of zero-emissions vehicles before and failed. The current effort, they add, could also fail if zero-emissions vehicles remain so expensive that average car buyers cannot afford them.


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