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California will require zero-emissions buses by 2040

Any new buses will have to go green from 2029 onward.
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Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

California isn't just interested in taking fossil fuel cars off the streets -- it wants to clean up buses, too. The state's Air Resources Board has voted to require that all buses are emissions-free by 2040. The transition will start in earnest in 2029, when California will require that all new buses ditch fossil fuels. Transit agencies will have access to subsidies (plus funds from the state's settlement with VW over Dieselgate) to help soften the blow of upgrading their fleets.

This is no mean feat when zero-emissions vehicles currently represent just 153 out of the 12,000 buses serving Californians. As with cars, proponents are betting that electric and hydrogen fuel cell buses will become capable enough and cost-effective enough to completely replace their conventional counterparts. The deadlines are meant partly to spur technological progress -- companies may not have much choice but to improve their buses if they want to remain relevant on state roads.

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