environment

States set goal: 3.3M ZEV cars

SAN FRANCISCO -- Eight states on the East and West coasts released a plan Thursday for working together to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the nation's roads by 2025.

The so-called "action plan" follows last year's memorandum of understanding announced by the governors of the states, including California and New York.

The other states in the pact are Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. The states represent about 23 percent of the U.S. auto market.

Car manufacturers applauded the action plan but said a lot of work needs to be done to meet the 3.3 million goal with zero-emission vehicles making up less than a percent of nationwide new car sales.

The states vow to cut red tape to allow for quick construction of charging stations and other infrastructure needed to grow the market for plug-in hybrids, battery powered cars and other clean-burning vehicles.

The plan includes other measures to make the cars more attractive to consumers -- like creating incentives for workplace charging stations. In 2013, zero-emission vehicles made up less than 1 percent of total U.S. auto sales, just over 96,000 of the 15.5 million vehicles sold.

currency

Dish Network to accept bitcoins

-- Dish Network says it will become the lrgest company yet to accept payment in bitcoin.

The satellite TV company says it will begin accepting the digital coins through payment processor Coinbase by September. Coinbase will instantly convert the bitcoins into cash, eliminating the risk of price fluctuatons to Dish.

Dish's chief operating officer, Bernie Han, said the idea came from company employees who had become avid bitcoin users.

While Han said demand for the payment system is unclear, it aligns the Englewood, Colorado, company's high-tech offerings -- such as the ability to watch live TV on mobile devices -- with the tech-savvy customers it is trying to reach.

He also said Coinbase's payment processing fee is attractive compared to the average of what it pays to other processors.

-- Associated Press