The 2014-MY Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid.

The 2014-MY Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved the first car for sale in California that meets ARB’s most stringent smog-emission standard to date.

The 2014 Honda Plug-In Hybrid Accord produces only 20 milligrams of combined smog-forming emissions per mile. This makes it the first gasoline-powered car in California to meet what is known as the SULEV20 standard, the most stringent in the nation and one-third cleaner (in terms of smog-forming pollution) than the previous lowest state standard.

In addition, this Honda model has lower greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) than the fleet average standard required by all cars in 2025, the equivalent of a 50% reduction from current required levels, according to the automaker.

The Executive Order allowing Honda to sell the newly certified ultra-clean cars in California was signed on Dec. 21, 2012, following a detailed examination of emissions and performance test results. Honda began production of the car that same day.

The full-size sedan model achieves 124 MPGe city/105 MPGe highway in hybrid mode, and 47 MPG city/46 MPG highway in standard (gas only) mode.

The low-emissions standards that this Honda model meets are part of the state’s Advanced Clean Cars package of regulations, adopted in January 2012, that will ensure increasingly cleaner cars for sale in the state, and provide for increased choices of zero-emission vehicles.

When fully in force in 2025, the new set of standards is expected to reduce smog-causing pollutants from low-emission vehicles 75% from current levels and greenhouse gases by 34%.

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