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List of State Officials - Martin O'Malley, Governor; Anthony Brown, Lt. Governor; Shari T. Wilson, MDE Secretary 

Volume IV, Number 6

 September 2010

eMDE is a quarterly publication of the Maryland Department of the Environment. It covers articles on current environmental issues and events in the state. 

Clean Cars Program Means Improved Technology and Healthier Air for Maryland

By Justin Mabrey, Air and Radiation Management Administration

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Marylanders can now save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and improve air quality when they purchase a new car. 

The Maryland Clean Cars Program will improve air quality by reducing tailpipe emissions from the cars and light trucks we drive everyday. Beginning with this model year (2011), vehicles sold in Maryland will help to meet targets to reduce ozone forming emissions and decrease our carbon footprint.

The Maryland Clean Cars program regulates carbon dioxide, the leading contributor to climate change, from vehicles. The carbon dioxide reductions from the program are significant and account for about 12 percent of the total reductions needed to meet the 2020 goals established in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act.

These new cars will also reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, which are the largest contributors of ground-level ozone and are linked to an increased risk of respiratory and immune system diseases. The program will reduce these harmful emissions by approximately 10 percent more than the current federal standards by 2020. These mandatory reductions in emissions mean cleaner, healthier air for everyone. 

The Maryland Clean Cars Program provides significant advantages to the consumer. Car buyers will save money because model year 2011 vehicles are expected to have a nearly 22 percent increase in fuel economy. Consumers will have more vehicles to choose from. The Maryland Clean Cars Program requires an increasing percentage of vehicles to be advanced technology vehicles. This category of vehicles includes hybrid vehicles as well as plug-in hybrids, some of which can travel up to 40 miles before using any gasoline. Other advanced technology vehicles, including all electric vehicles and fuel-cell vehicles, will also be available in the future. Several electric vehicles will be available in late 2011. These vehicles can have greatly reduced emissions, and some even eliminate all direct emissions.

Many of the affected vehicles will come with a longer warranty, adding additional protection and benefit to car buyers. The program is also designed to be very consumer friendly. Any new model year 2011 vehicle will have lower emissions and the fleet will, by law, be compliant with the new standards. 

For Maryland car buyers, the Maryland Clean Cars Program is good news. Vehicles with either advanced or conventional technology will reduce emissions, clean the air, and lower the carbon footprint.

Click here for more information about the Maryland Clean Cars Program.


©2010 Copyright MDE

Editorial Board
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230