The state of California passed legislation last week that will mandate the use of ‘Environmental Performance’ labels for all new cars sold in the state. Each vehicle receives a ‘Global Warming’ and ‘Smog’ score ranging from 1-10, 10 being the cleanest. It’s hard to imagine that a person buying a Hummer will be suddenly shocked at its low EP score and rush over to the hybrid dealer, but it may clear things up for the novice environmentalist and weed out potential greenwashers.

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California’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Air Resources Board agreed to amend the Smog Index Label of 1998 to include a vehicle’s potential contribution to the increasing global temperature. The global warming score factors in the car’s operation system, as well as its fuel consumption. The legislation will affect all new vehicles in California starting with 2009 models.

The state’s government has also put together an exhaustive website, DriveClean, on consumer options for zero and near-zero emission vehicles and fuels.

+ DriveClean
+ Environmental Performance labels
+ California’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)