California is moving forward with a plan to ban the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by the year 2035.
California has had their own emissions standards in place ever since the state was issued a waiver under the 1970 Clean Air Act. Governor Gavin Newsom has now issued an executive order that all new sales of passenger vehicles in the state must be zero-emission by 2035. Only electric vehicles will be available for purchase from 2035 onwards. Newsom signed the executive order on the hood of an electric Ford Mustang Mach-E.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will now develop regulations to go along with the executive order. California is the first state in the U.S. to announce such a regulation.
However, the new executive order does not completely ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles after the year 2035. Both used and commercial vehicles get a reprieve under the order. The new regulations will also not apply to medium- and heavy-duty vehicles until 2045. While announcing the order, Governor Newsom stressed that EV technology will become cheaper and battery range will increase over the next 15 years. Tesla made similar promises earlier this week at their Battery Day event.
The news of the gas-powered vehicle ban comes as wildfires ravage the state. Most scientists are overwhelmingly attributing the severity of the fires to climate change. California is also targeting clean electric power by 2045.
The state is currently battling the Trump administration in the courts over the President’s desire to remove the waiver that gives California the ability to set its own emissions standards.