Governor Gavin Newsom and California regulators are gearing up to ban the sale of all new gasoline-powered vehicles beginning in 2035. Critics claim that the state will still need to rely on natural gas and coal to power the electrical grid that will charge electric vehicles.
Breanne Deppisch; August 24, 2022
California regulators are expected to ban the sale of all new gasoline-powered vehicles beginning in 2035, a major step for the largest auto market in the United States and one that the Democratic government hopes can accelerate the transition toward electric vehicle adoption.
The rule is expected to take effect Thursday following a vote from the California Air Resources Board, and is the final step in implementing an executive order by Gov. Gavin Newsom nearly two years ago to phase out the gas-powered vehicles.
The rule will also set interim targets to help phase out the sale of internal combustion engine models: By 2026, it states, 35% of new cars sold must be zero-emissions vehicles — an amount that climbs to 68% in 2030. Currently, just 12% of new cars sold in the state are electric vehicles.
“The climate crisis is solvable if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to stem the tide of carbon pollution,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said of the effort on Wednesday. “California now has a groundbreaking, world-leading plan to achieve 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035.”
“It’s ambitious, it’s innovative, it’s the action we must take if we’re serious about leaving this planet better off for future generations,” he added. “California will continue to lead the revolution towards our zero-emission transportation future.”
California is the largest auto market in the U.S., meaning its actions are likely to have an outsize impact on the auto industry. It would be the first ban on internal combustion engines within the U.S.
In announcing his support for the plan in 2020, Newsom noted that transportation accounts for more than 50% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions.
He also noted that without taking such a step to accelerate actions to reduce transportation emissions, the state will not be able to achieve its goal of a carbon-free economy by 2045.
News of the ban comes just one week after President Joe Biden signed into law the largest-ever climate spending bill, which injects some $369 billion in spending for clean energy programs and efforts to fight climate change.
The new law aims to incentivize electric vehicle manufacturing and sales in the U.S., including through the expansion of a $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit for consumers.
Photo: AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian