california wants formalize its plan to ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035 on Thursday, setting a strict timeline for automakers to transition to electric vehicles and dramatically changing the national landscape for new car sales.
The state Air Resources Board is set to adopt new regulations at a meeting this week, setting deadlines that would require 35% of new car sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2026. That the number would rise rapidlyto 51% in 2028, to 82% in 2032 and then to 100% in 2035.
“This regulation is one of the most important efforts we have made to clean the air,” said Liane Randolph, chair of the board, saying reporters on Wednesday.
Many other states are expected to follow suit. The Air Resources Board notes that 17 states have adopted all or part of California’s low- or zero-emission vehicle standards, efforts it said substantially reduce airborne pollutants and limit climate change.
The Environmental Protection Agency must approve the final rule, but the Biden administration has signaled that it likely will.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) called the effort “one of the most significant steps toward eliminating the tailpipe as we know it” in to interview with The New York Times.
“Our kids are going to act like it’s a rotary phone or change the channel on a TV,” he added.
The new regulations will not prohibit the sale of used vehicles or classic cars that run on gasoline. transportation is the single largest font of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and California is the nation’s largest market for new car sales.
Some 16% of new cars sold there are already zero-emission vehicles, and many automakers have long waiting lists for green cars.
Automakers have long supported California’s efforts to adopt strict emissions standards. Ford said Wednesday that he was “proud” to partner with the state to combat greenhouse gas emissions at a time “when climate action was under attack.” And Toyota wrote to the air authority this week acknowledging that the state had the authority to enforce the environmental targets.
“At Ford, combating climate change is a strategic priority, and we are proud of our partnership with California to achieve more stringent vehicle emissions standards,” said Ford chief sustainability officer Bob Holycross. said in a sentence. “We are committed to building a zero-emission transportation future that includes everyone.”
washington post grades that California, long associated with American driving culture, carries enormous weight with automakers. Logistically it’s a challenge for automakers to sell two types of vehicles in states that have strict emissions standards and those that don’t, and California’s move indicates even more strength ahead in demand for electric vehicles.
The decision comes nearly two years after Newsom issued an executive order banning the sale of new fossil fuel-powered cars by 2035. At the time, Newsom touted the effort as the “most impactful step our state can take to combat climate change”.
The move comes after the Biden administration reinstated a waiver for California under the Clean Air Act that allows the state to set its own emissions standards that are stricter than those of the federal government. Former President Donald Trump had withdrawn the exemption during his presidency, despite protests from the auto industry.
Democrats have clamped down on climate change in recent weeks, culminating in a surprise deal signed by President Joe Biden, the Inflation Reduction Act, last week. That bill will invest some $370 billion in clean energy programs and tax incentives for electric vehicles and reflects the largest single investment to address climate change in the nation’s history.