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California bans sales of new gas-powered cars by 2035

California, the country’s most populous state and a hub for US car culture, is banning the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2035, marking a historic step forward in the fight against climate change. state climate.

Rule, do The California Air Resources Board on Thursday, will force automakers to accelerate production of cleaner vehicles starting in 2026 until only cars, pickups and SUVs can be sold. emissions in the state.

The unanimous vote came after Governor Gavin Newsom set goals in 2020 to accelerate the shift away from the internal combustion engine. The transportation sector represents the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, which is already suffering from wildfires, droughts and air pollution exacerbated by climate change.

The decision is expected to have far-reaching effects beyond California and will likely pave the way for other states to follow suit. At least 15 statesincluding New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, have adopted California’s vehicle standards for clean car rules before.

A charging port on the 2022 Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring plug-in hybrid vehicle during AutoMobility LA ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, November 18, 2021.

Bing Guan | Bloomberg | beautiful pictures

Liane Randolph, chair of the California Air Resources Board, said the regulation is one of the state’s most significant efforts to clean the air and will help reduce pollution from cars and light trucks by 50%. year 2040.

The policy will not prohibit people from continuing to drive gas-powered cars or buy and sell them on the used market after 2035. The regulation will also allow automakers to sell up to 20 percent of plug-in vehicles. -in hybrid, with gas engine, by 2035.

However, the rule does phase out such vehicles over time, requiring 35% of all new car sales to run on batteries or hydrogen by 2026 and 68% by 2030. More than 16% of new cars are sold sold in California by 2022 are zero-emissions. vehicle, state saysincrease from 12.41% in 2021 and 7.78% in 2020.

“California is once again leading the way by setting common standards that will move to selling all non-polluting cars,” said Kathy Harris, clean vehicle advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council. infections and light trucks in the state”.

Motor vehicles drive on the 101 freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Robyn Beck | beautiful pictures

California, home to congested freeways and smoky skies in Los Angeles, has considerable authority over the country’s auto industry.

The federal waiver under the Clean Air Act allows the state to adopt more aggressive fuel economy standards than the federal government standards, and it sets a precedent for the rest of the land. on how to reduce vehicle emissions.

California’s ability to control vehicle emissions has spurred innovations such as a catalytic converter that converts toxic gases and pollutants in the exhaust into less harmful pollutants, as well as a “check engine” light. “. The state establishes the nation first exhaust emission standard in 1966.

The Trump administration in 2019 revoked California’s right to regulate air quality, but the Biden administration restore that authority this early year.

State officials say the rule is crucial to meeting the state’s goal of transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2045, adding that reducing emissions leads to fewer deaths. cardiopulmonary disease and improve the health of people with asthma and other diseases.

However, meeting it on schedule will face challenges, including installing enough charging stations across the state and gaining access to the materials needed to make batteries for electric vehicles.

John Bozzella, president and chief executive officer of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents major automakers, said California’s mandate will be “extremely challenging” for automakers. bowl.

“Whether these requirements are realistic or achievable is directly related to external factors such as inflation, fuel and charging infrastructure, supply chains, labor, availability and valuation of key minerals, and ongoing semiconductor shortages,” Bozzella said in a statement. “These are complex, intertwined and global issues.”

The regulation comes after President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act earlier this month, which provides funding for electric vehicle tax credits and clean car facilities. The Biden Administration also enacted new nationwide limits on exhaust emissions last year for new cars and light trucks manufactured through 2026.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

Environmental groups hailed Thursday’s decision, though some say the board needs to set even tougher targets to meet the urgency of the climate crisis. Several groups had previously urged the board to adopt the rule to achieve 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030, five years earlier than the actual regulation.

“This rule is necessary to match the urgency of the climate crisis and instead cause Californians to make slow progress,” said Scott Hochberg, an attorney at the Centers for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. study, said in a statement.

“California needs to act aggressively on gas-powered cars instead of ignoring them, and switch to electric cars much sooner or else our climate stability will fade,” Hochberg said. .

Daniel Barad, senior California policy campaigner at the Sierra Club, said in a statement that the rule is “an important step forward for breathable air in California communities and will be greatly appreciated.” critical to the state’s achievement of its climate and emission reduction targets.”

“Other states should quickly join California and adopt this life-saving rule, which will improve air quality and help slow the climate crisis,” Barad said.

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