California To Ban Gasoline and Diesel Cars by 2035
California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed an order that California bans gas cars by 2035. The ban only covers sales of vehicles, but it remains one of the boldest US measures made to fight climate.
The executive order requires all new vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2035. This includes battery-powered, hydrogen fuel cell-running, or plug-in hybrids. California ban gas cars and trucks can reduce these emissions by 35%. Recent movements in Europe pushed for strict clean-air and greenhouse-gas requirements for vehicles. Around 15 countries committed to cleaning up, including Germany, France, and Norway. Even China got into the act a few years ago and pushed for zero-emission cars. As such, California already enforces emission rules stricter than federal standards. This new law now raises the stakes further in favor of electric vehicles.
Ban on Selling, Not Owning
Vehicles are responsible for over 40% of the greenhouse emissions in the state. The California ban gas cars cover the selling of combustible engine vehicles. It ends the sale of new gasoline-powered cars. State residents can still own gas or diesel cars or sell them in the secondhand market. According to IHS Markit, California owns more than 11% of all registered light vehicles in the U.S. last year. As of July, 6.2% of light vehicles in California were electric-powered, or 1.6% in the nation.
The order directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to craft the guidelines. It added that trucks and construction vehicles should also be zero-emission by 2045. During the signing, Newsom said that “Of all the simultaneous crises that we face as a state…none is more forceful than the issue of the climate crisis. What we’re advancing here today is a strategy to address that crisis head-on, to be as bold as the problem is big.”
The automotive trade group Alliance for Automotive Innovation is hesitant. Chief executive
John Bozzella said his members are committed to expanding EV models, but mandates like this one aren’t the best way to do so. He said: “What builds successful markets is widespread stakeholder engagement.”
A Ford Motor Co. spokesman said: “We agree with Gov. Newsom that it is time to take urgent action to address climate change…Progress requires public-private partnerships, smart infrastructure, and key resources that encourage consumers to invest in electrified products.”
To make this work, California will need new statewide charging infrastructure. It would also need to upgrade its aging power infrastructure to support that. At the same time, the state’s thousands of gasoline stations will need help in their phaseout.
Running Afoul of The White House
The Trump White House didn’t make the announcement kindly. White House spokesman Judd Deere noted the lengths Democrats will go. He said: “This is yet another example of how extreme the left has become. They want the government to dictate every aspect of every American’s life, and the lengths to which they will go to destroy jobs and raise costs on the consumer is alarming. President Trump won’t stand for it.”
A legal fight may be in the works from the Oval Office. The federal government is fighting California over its auto emission rules. In 2018, Trump followed through on a campaign promise to cut regulatory red tape. The EPA announced it will scrap Obama-era vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards. Trump remarked he is taking away California’s power to set its own emissions standards. As a result, states led by California sued the agency in 2019, and the case is currently before the appeals court in D.C.
Elections, SCOTUS Can Make or Break This Case
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg's replacement might play a big role. If the GOP pushes through with a nominee and installs a justice, this could work in their favor. A conservative majority on the Supreme Court could strike down the California program. But this hinges on Trump winning the election in November. On the other hand, if Democrat Joe Biden wins, federal opposition would most likely stop.
Watch this as Bloomberg reports that the California ban gas cars sales in 2035:
California started the EV ball rolling, and other states might follow suit. Do you have plans to shift to an electric vehicle soon? Or, do you plan to hold on the old gas guzzler until the wheels fall off? Let us know what you think of California’s initiative by commenting below.