With a 2035 deadline, California is set to stop all car, truck and SUV gas-powered sales and switch to electricity or hydrogen power to help transition to climate-friendly vehicles.
This new switch will be a huge step that will reshape the U.S. car market. The California Air Resources Board is set to vote on the policy on Thursday. This vote, however, won’t eliminate gas-powered vehicles completely.
Even with the switch, people will be able to continue to drive gas-fueled cars and purchase used vehicles after 2035. This new plan does also allow one-fifth of all car sales after 2035 to be plug-in hybrid cars that can run on both batteries and gas.
The recent vote by the state is going to be forcing automakers to start producing cleaner vehicles faster beginning in 2026 until the sales of those cars are the only allowed in the state.
The switch also sets a course towards finding an end to filling up cars at the pump.
The new electric cars are set to drastically decrease emissions and air pollutants. This transition could be hurtful to some of the parts of the states that are still dominated by oil.
“The climate crisis is solvable if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to stem the tide of carbon pollution”
Democratic. Gov. Gavin Newsom originally announced the 2035 goal roughly two years ago and has worked with regulators to work out the details of the plan.
Transportation in California represents the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions and those caused wildfires, droughts and air pollution.
There are still some obstacles that the state has to overcome in order to reach that goal including finding enough reliable power and charging stations.
As of recent, California has about 80,000 stations that can be found around the state, but that is nowhere near the 250,000 that the state would liked to have by 2025.
One of the biggest challenges that was brought up by The Alliance for Automotive Innovation was the lack of infrastructure around, the access to materials that are needed to make the batteries and supply chain issues which could hinder the state’s initially planned timeline.
“These are complex, intertwined and global issues well beyond the control of either (the California Air Resources Board) or the auto industry.”
According to NPR, California Climate Officials have stated that the policy will also be some of the most ambitious since it sets clear benchmarks for how they want to successfully ramp up the sale of electric vehicles.
By 2026, the goal is to have at least one-third of new cars that are sold in California be electric. In the early months of 2022, roughly 16% of the cars sold were electric.
Other states in the U.S. including Massachusetts, Washington and New York also have started to set goals to help and transform their car markets just as California is doing.
But in other terms, the new electric vehicle rules will also be required for federal approval which would need to be ran past President Biden.
“Driving an electric vehicle long distances today, even in California, requires careful planning about where to stop and charge”
With the increase in electric cars, there will also be a high demand for more access to charging stations. A recent infrastructure bill was passed by Congress within the last year to provide $5 billion for all states to build new charging stations every 50 miles along the interstate.
The alternative to electric cars would be hydrogen fueled found as a full option, but those sales have only made up less than 1%.
The government and the state have plans to offer rebates to offset the high cost of buying electric cars and other incentives so that low- and middle-income families can buy used electric cars at affordable prices.
With this new plan in place, California’s most important plan is to help achieve clean air. If the plans put in place are successful, it should lead to a 50% reduction in pollution by 2040.
California State Officials have noted that this legislature is crucial to hopefully meeting the states goal of fully transitioning into 100% renewable energy. The hope is that it could lead to fewer cardiopulmonary deaths and help those who suffer from asthma and other types of respiratory illnesses.
Nikki Indelicato is a Contributing Reporter at The National Digest based in New York. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.