California to ban sale of gas-powered cars by 2035

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The Governor of California has signed a major executive order that will prohibit the sale of gasoline powered vehicles in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

On Wednesday, September 23, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a sweeping new executive order to require that 100 percent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks will be zero-emission by 2035.

California would be the first state in the U.S. to ban the sale of gas powered vehicles.

The executive order also states that “it shall be a further goal of the State that 100 percent of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in the State be zero-emission by 2045 for all operations where feasible and by 2035 for drayage trucks. It shall be further a goal of the State to transition to 100 percent zero-emission off-road vehicles and equipment by 2035 where feasible.”

Newsom also uses the executive order to direct the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to create:

  1. Passenger vehicle and truck regulations requiring increasing volumes of new zero-emission vehicles sold in the State towards the target of 100 percent of in-state sales by 2035.
  2. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicle regulations requiring increasing volumes of new zero-emission trucks and buses sold and operated in the State towards the target of 100 percent of the fleet transitioning to zero-emission vehicles by 2045 everywhere feasible and for all drayage trucks to be zero- emission by 2035.
  3. Strategies, in coordination with other State agencies, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local air districts, to achieve 100 percent zero-emission from off-road vehicles and equipment operations in the State by 2035.

Newsom points to several reasons for introducing the ban on the sale of gas powered vehicles, including the climate change crisis, the disruption that the pandemic has brought to the transportation sector, and the creation of high-quality green jobs.

The ban is likely to face pushback from President Trump, the oil and gas industry, and the automotive industry.

In the past few months, California has pushed forward several rules attempting to regulate emissions from diesel trucks.

In June, CARB unanimously voted to adopt the Advanced Clean Truck regulation that will require truck manufacturers to begin the transition from diesel to zero-emission trucks in 2024. Officials say hat by 2045, “every new truck sold in California will be zero-emission.”

And in August, CARB members unanimously voted to adopt the “Heavy-Duty Omnibus (Omnibus)” rule, which will dramatically overhaul exhaust emission standards, test procedures and other emissions-related requirements starting in 2024.