California plans to outlaw the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035
The Future. California is set to pass a law that would end the sale of all combustion-engine passenger vehicles by 2035. It’s an ambitious plan that may need to coincide with other sustainable-energy efforts to keep the state’s electric grid humming, but its expected passage will most likely create a domino effect of more than a dozen other states to follow California’s lead (representing a third of the domestic auto market).
Empty the tank
NYT reports that California is letting new gas-powered vehicles drive off into the sunset in the coming decade.
- The state’s regulators, the California Air Resources Board, are voting to ban the sale of new gas-powered passenger vehicles by 2035. Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law once it passes.
- In the run-up to the total ban, 35% of new vehicles sold must use clean energy by 2026 and then 68% by 2030.
- Automakers that fall short of the production target would be fined up to $20,000 for every additional gas-powered car that is sold.
- The state can also amend the law if the targets prove to be impossible to hit.
California is sending the rule to the US Environmental Protection Agency for approval (it needs to receive a federal waiver, which it’s sure to get). Then, Governor Gavin Newsom can sign it into law.
Shock the system
California is the largest auto market in the US, and 16% of all new car sales in the state are already EVs (an almost 4% jump from last year).
With the transportation industry being a big polluter in the world of greenhouse-gas emissions, California’s new rule could supercharge EV (and, soon, hydrogen-powered vehicle) adoption even more and cut emissions from passenger vehicles by 50% by 2040.
GM, Ford, and Stellantis (which owns Chrysler, Dodge, and others) have already applauded California’s policy, even though representatives from top automotive trade groups have expressed that reaching the proposed targets is difficult. I guess everyone better start their engines, then.