The California Air Resources Board -- the world's trendsetter of air pollution standards -- was clearly being quite ambitious while mandating that 10 per cent of all new cars to be sold in the state during 2003 should be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). After a short while, it was forced to roll back the directive, thanks to insurmountable constraints -- the limited distance for which batteries run, high costs and very poor market response. This setback unlocked the door for near-ZEVs, such as the hybrid car, perhaps the best available choice to overcome pollution
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