Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday, in a sweeping move aimed at accelerating the state’s attempts to fight global warming in the wake of a devastating and record-breaking wildfire season, California plans to outlaw the selling of new gasoline-powered vehicles nationwide by 2035.
In an executive order, Governor Newsom ordered California regulators to establish a strategy that would mandate car manufacturers to actively sell in the state more zero-emission passenger vehicles, such as battery-powered or hydrogen-powered cars and pickup trucks, before they make up 100% of new car purchases in just 15 years.
The plan would also set a goal of zero emissions by 2045, where possible, for all heavy-duty trucks on the road in California. And the order orders the state transport agencies to search at short-term steps to reduce the burden of Californians on driving by, at the instance , improving access to mass transit and biking.
“This is the next major global market,” said Governor Newsom, pointing to clean-energy technology like electric cars, at a news conference on Wednesday. “And it continues to be governed by California.”
California has been a world pioneer in climate change policies for a long time, having already passed a bill to get 100% of its energy from wind, solar and other sources that do not emit carbon dioxide by 2045. But in recent weeks, as record wildfires partially fuelled by rising temperatures have scorched the state, Governor Newsom has found himself forced to respond ever sooner.
Rising California’s sales of emission-free cars would be a major challenge within a reasonably short period of time, experts say. Battery-electric or plug-in hybrid cars were just 8 percent of the almost two million passenger vehicles delivered statewide last year. Transportation is the primary cause of planet-warming pollution in California, accounting for about 40 percent of the state’s human-activity greenhouse gases.
“Governor Newsom said at the news conference, where he stood before a glittering half-circle of electric vehicles,” We have a plan to be as courageous as the challenge is huge, to realize that we have power. “They are not necessarily prisoners of destiny.”
Don Anair, deputy director of the Renewable Cars Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, an activist group, said that in addition to setting specific requirements for manufacturers in the state, California would also definitely need to improve financial benefits for individuals to afford electric cars and greatly broaden its charging infrastructure.
In California’s change, there is one main complication: As part of the rollback of Obama-era automotive efficiency regulations, the Trump administration has questioned the state’s right to set its own emission levels for cars and trucks. Under the 1970 Clean Air Act, California has claimed its right to set its own stringent laws, although the issue is yet to be decided by the courts.