New era for cars?

The Sacramento BeeJanuary 27, 2009 

President Barack Obama's directive to reconsider California's attempt to regulate global warming gases from automobiles could bring many more highly fuel-efficient cars to sales lots as early as this year.

Auto manufacturers can achieve the bulk of required emission reductions using technology available today, without sacrificing the design or size of the vehicle, state air pollution regulators and environmental advocates say.

Some of the fuel-saving features are in models already on the road, such as more efficient valve-timing, sleeker aerodynamics and smoother-rolling tires. The added production cost would be about $1,800 per vehicle, they say.

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