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Driveclean Helps Choose Least Polluting Cars on the Market

Reading between the lines of a automotive label is tough. This new website makes it easier to tell which vehicle qualifies for air quality incentives...and protects your health.

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The California Air Resources Board today unveiled its revamped website, Driveclean.ca.gov, which helps consumers choose the least polluting cars on the market.

The new website, using information collected for vehicle certification in California, offers a practical system that ranks vehicles according to their emission characteristics and provides tools to compare models.

"Until now, decisions about car buying were based solely on what functions the car needed to serve," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. ""This new website will take the guesswork out of buying the cleanest car and help consumers find rebates, tax breaks and other incentives."

The ARB has made efforts recently to simplify state and federal vehicle-emission classifications to aid car-buyers. Last year, California adopted a regulation requiring auto manufacturers to affix the Environmental Performance Label to showroom models indicating the vehicle's smog and greenhouse gas emissions. The simply illustrated graphic has two rankings, from one to ten, that depict vehicle emissions. The higher the score, the less polluting it is.

Driveclean.ca.gov puts these same rankings in an online format making them practical for web research. The web site provides information about clean car technology and guides users to consider the emissions of the models they are evaluating.

In addition, consumers will find information on available incentives being offered by various federal, state and local governments, and private corporations and businesses. ARB is preparing for its own new incentive program, the Zero-Emission and Plug-In Hybrid Light-Duty Vehicle Rebate Project, slated to begin the first quarter of 2010. Incentives will range between $1,500 and $5,000 for qualifying clean technology vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
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