California, the state that buys the most cars and trucks in the United States, will ban the sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2035. This represents the largest government move against gasoline and diesel to date, with the potential to ripple throughout the country and the global auto industry.
The California Air Resources Board, which regulates pollution in the state, voted unanimously on Thursday to approve a proposal that will require 100 percent of all cars sold in the state to produce zero greenhouse gas emissions in 13 years. The board is invoking its authority to protect air quality and deal with the impacts of climate change. Gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles worsen both.
Lauren Sanchez, senior climate adviser to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, told reporters Wednesday the vote marks “a huge day not only for California, but for the country and the entire world as we dive headfirst into the next chapter of the zero-emission vehicle revolution.”
On top of that, the new rule, called the CARB Advanced Clean Cars II rule, sets an interim milestone requiring 35 percent of new vehicles to produce zero emissions “that rapidly increases to nearly 70 percent of new vehicles sales by 2030, further increasing to 100 percent by the 2035 model year,” according to the text of the resolution.
California has long held the pole position in the auto industry. The state has close to 30 million registered cars and trucks, and in 2021, registered an additional 1.8 million new vehicles, of which roughly 8 percent were electric. CARB also has special permission from the federal government to set tougher air quality rules for all vehicles, rules that 17 other states have adopted as well. Automakers don’t like making different cars for different states, so California sets the de facto standard for the country and other parts of the world. [Continue reading…]