The California Air Resources Board has approved the first car for sale in California that meets ARB's most stringent smog-emission standard to date.
ARB said the 2014 Honda Plug-In Hybrid Accord produces only 20 milligrams of combined smog-forming emissions per mile, making it the first gasoline-powered car in California to meet what is known as the SULEV20 standard.
The new standard is one-third cleaner, in terms of smog-forming pollution, than the previous lowest state standard.
In addition, ARB said the Honda model has lower greenhouse gas emissions than the fleet average standard required by all cars in 2025 the equivalent of a 50 percent reduction from current required levels.
"Honda has demonstrated that a dedicated commitment to the environment and advanced engineering at every level of the company can deliver the cleanest cars well ahead of schedule," said Tom Cackette, head of ARB's mobile source program.
Honda has a history of California firsts.
In 1995, its 1996 Civic was the first certified low emission gasoline vehicle. In 1997, the 1998 Accord was the first ultra-low emission gasoline auto, and in 1999, the 2000 Accord was the first to be certified a super ultra-low emission gas vehicle.