California regulators vote to lower target for zero-emission vehicles

California air regulators on Thursday slashed the number of battery-powered and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that must be sold in the state, a setback for environmentalists and health advocates. The decision is expected to affect 12 other U.S. states that had adopted California's target for zero-emission vehicles. The California Air Resources Board voted to lower by 70 percent the number of those vehicles that automakers must sell here and in the states that intended to follow California's get-tough rules for vehicle emissions. Instead, the air board said the six largest automakers must sell nearly 60,000 hybrid vehicles while they develop the more advanced technology that will allow mass production of pure zero-emission vehicles.