More clean vehicles on California streets

Proposed law would force automakers to produce more electric vehicles

If regulations set to be proposed by the California Air Resources Board next month are approved, 15 percent of new cars and small trucks sold in California will produce little or no air pollution.

The new rules, which will be proposed Dec. 7, would force automakers to increase production of electric and hybrid plug-in cars by 2018, according to The first year would see about 69,000 no-emission vehicles hit the highway, with an eventual goal of 1.4 million vehicles by 2025. Currently about 400,000 hybrid cars exist in California.

There is speculation that consumers hesitate to buy electric vehicles that are more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts, which has led the air board to offer rebates of up to $2,500 on clean vehicles with plans of pumping about $15 million more into the rebate program through 2012.