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California, 7 Other States Push to Get More Zero Emission Vehicles on Road


In the past three years, Americans have bought just 140,000 electric and plug-in hybrid cars. But sales are increasing. They more than tripled in 2012.

Now the governors of eight states have signed an agreement to take steps they hope will increase the market share of Zero Emission Vehicles.

“We’re in the midst of a transformation, our job is to try to make it happen faster and more successfully,” says Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board.

Nothing is final, but the states hope to take steps such as buying Zero Emission Vehicles for their government fleets and giving financial incentives to consumers.

"We’re sharing information, we’re sharing best practices and we’re going to be working on some concepts about basically what kind of incentives, what kind of programs what kind of training are going to be needed to overcome whatever barriers are out there,” says Nichols. 

Automotive analysts say those financial incentives may be crucial, as consumers site cost as the number one barrier to buying zero emission cars.

The eight states signing the agreement represent 23 percent of the US car market.

In order to meet the states' goal, one in seven new car sales in those states would have to be a zero emissions vehicle.


Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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