Clean-Car Fans Fuel Combustion

Auto and oil companies are gearing up for a battle to squelch California's electric-vehicles mandate just as New York and Massachusetts prepare to enact equally stringent zero-emission rules. But a dirty little secret may emerge this week when scores of EV drivers converge on a public hearing at the California Air Resources Board--namely, that GM, Ford, Honda, Toyota and other companies have worked to undermine the mandate to build tens of thousands of battery-run vehicles by 2003.

Automakers say consumers are resisting EVs, which have a range of up to 120 miles between charges. But the electric-car crowd contends that...

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