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Coming Soon: Legislated Zero-Emissions Vehicles

zero emission vehicle legislation

The state of California has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental policy and green energy - and now it is bringing this forward-thinking to the vehicles we drive.

As California’s state air-quality registrar, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has recently approved a range of strict and tough laws that will have a definite impact on your driving habits and on what you drive. These new laws, announced a few days ago require that by 2025 there be an additional 1.4 million electric, plug-in, and fuel cell cars on the road.

The goal behind this new legislation is to severely reduce greenhouse gas emissions and smog levels in this outdoor-loving state. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent and to reduce soot and smog levels by 75 percent. This will make a very big impact in the air quality for everyone.

So for folks in California what does this mean? Well, it means that unless you’re driving an electric vehicle, hybrid, plug-in or fuel cell vehicle right now - you’re going to have to really think about the future of your next vehicle purchase. There are lots of reasons to buy one of these more environmentally-friendly cars but until now, state legislation hasn’t been a factor. There is lots of time to make this transition to a zero-emissions vehicle - and the good news is that this legislation will likely spur on even more innovation within the automotive industry.

When looking at the numbers, to achieve the goals that CARB has set out, it means that at least 15 percent of all cars sold will have to be zero-emissions vehicles. And this number doesn’t account for population growth and more drivers on the road.

What this does do for the automotive industry is it encourages more innovation and design upgrades to increase and improve the selection of zero-emissions vehicles. Chances are that in the coming years we’ll see more of such vehicles on display at auto shows and in dealer show rooms. This means that the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf will see some increased competition and likely we’ll see some more advances in their designs.

The next question about this legislation is this: what impact will it have outside of California? Essentially what this CARB legislation does is it paves the way for similar legislation in other states as well as the increased chance for some new legislation from Washington. Likely, we’ll also see some additional interest from consumers who are researching new vehicles and have a keen interest in fuel and environmental costs.

What used to be considered “niche market” vehicles are now becoming more and more mainstream and this CARB legislation will have an interesting impact on the entire hybrid, plug-in, electric vehicle market. All this speaks to good news for the automotive industry. To learn more about this, visit the driveclean.ca.gov website and see our car reviews. As well be sure to read our blog posts on the topic: