California’s light trucks face same pollution standards as cars

State regulators voted on Thursday to make California the first US state to require light trucks ('sports utility vehicles') to meet the same anti-pollution standards as passenger cars.

Light trucks, including vans and pickups, have been exempt from the state’s exhaust-emission standards for cars for the last 25 years. From 2004, California’s Air Resources Board will apply the regulations to both cars and light trucks sold in an attempt to reduce allowable emissions of smog-causing gases by up to 75 per cent.

The US car industry had opposed the move, claiming less stringent regulations would still allow full-size vehicles to carry heavy loads while still meeting 90 per cent of the pollution cuts detailed in the air board’s plan.

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