The California Air Resources Board 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.
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.