12 state governors back U.S. internal combustion engine vehicle ban by 2035 – FutureCar.com
Author: Eric Walz
A major move by newly elected President Joe Biden is significant investment in clean energy in the United States. Biden is asking Congress for roughly $ 174 billion in government funding for electric vehicle initiatives, according to a White House backgrounder. The proposed investments are part of a much larger $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. In addition, Congress is also urged to expand tax credits to encourage more Americans to buy zero-emission electric vehicles.
But Biden urged to do even more to tackle climate change in the United States., including a ban on the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035. The plan has the support of 12 US state governors.
The governors of California, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington State, Rhode Island and Hawaii on Wednesday called on President Joe Biden to support ending sales of new gasoline vehicles in 2035.
In a letter which was viewed by Reuters, the governors urged Biden to set standards “to ensure that all new passenger cars and light trucks sold are zero-emission by 2035 at the latest with important milestones en route to monitor progress “.
Governors argued that establishing a clear regulatory path to ensure that all vehicles sold in the United States are zero-emission “will finally clean the air and create jobs on the roads.”
Governors also want Biden to set standards and adopt incentives to ensure 100% zero-emission sales of medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045.
Without a regulatory framework that pushes automakers to produce zero-emission vehicles, the adoption of electric vehicles in the United States will be hampered. With the regulations, the country is likely to fall behind the rest of the world in adopting electric vehicles, especially in China and Europe, where there are already plans to phase out gasoline vehicles and build more electric vehicles to fight climate change.
States and some lawmakers believe President Biden’s approval of a phase-out date will speed up the transition to electric vehicles. The current adoption rate of electric vehicles in the United States is only 2%. Without a clear plan, automakers continue to produce highly profitable yet gas-guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks.
The ban on internal combustion engine vehicles was initiated by California in September 2020, after state governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles in the State to be zero emissions by 2035.
For California, this is an ambitious goal that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35%, including an 80% decrease in harmful nitrogen oxides emissions from vehicles statewide. .
The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, including 80% of smog-causing pollutants and 95% of toxic diesel emissions, the governor’s office said at the time.
However, Biden’s campaign said last fall that he did not support California’s phase-out plan.
The California executive order also applies to heavy-polluting diesel trucks, although the timeframe for trucks to be zero-emission extends an additional decade to 2045, if possible.
Since last month, more than 70 House Democrats have urged Biden to establish strict emissions rules to ensure that 60% of new passenger cars and trucks sold are zero-emission by 2030, while 10 U.S. senators have urged Biden “to set a date on which new sales of fossil fuel vehicles will cease altogether.” “
Whether or not Biden will ban the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2035, many automakers are doing so voluntarily, including U.S. automakers General Motors and Ford. In January, GM announced plans to phase out ICE-powered passenger vehicles by 2035.
The automaker is investing $ 27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles over the next five years, which is an additional $ 7 billion from the $ 20 billion pledged by the automaker in March 2020.
As part of GM’s plans, the automaker is converting its Detroit-Hamtramck, Michigan plant to produce electric vehicles only. The new factory was renamed “Factory ZERO”. GM’s Spring Hill Manufacturing plant in Tennessee is also being retooled to build electric vehicles.
Swedish automaker Volvo, a subsidiary of Chinese company Zhejiang Geely Holding, has said its entire range of cars will be fully electric by 2030. While GM’s US rival Ford Motor Co has also said its range will be fully electric. of European models will be fully electric by 2030.
The governors also said in their letter that they wanted Biden to increase fuel economy, which was standards rescinded under President Donald Trump and provide states with “substantial funding for investment in charging and charging infrastructure. refueling “. They also called for the removal or increase of the tax credit limits for electric vehicles by manufacturer.
The federal electric vehicle tax credit for the purchase of a zero-emission battery vehicle is currently $ 7,500, but it is limited to the first 200,000 eligible vehicles before it begins to disappear. State governors want the limit of 200,000 vehicles increased to encourage more people to buy electric vehicles.
Biden calls on Congress to “give consumers point-of-sale rebates and tax incentives to purchase American-made electric vehicles, while ensuring that these vehicles are affordable for all families and made by workers with talent. good jobs, ”the White House said.
The Electric Vehicle Tax Credit has helped electric automaker Tesla gain a foothold in the U.S. auto market and helped the company sell its more expensive electric cars. But the California-based company hit the 200,000-vehicle limit in 2018. The electric vehicle tax credit officially expired for Tesla on December 31, 2019.
The state governors’ bold push for electric vehicles has also met with resistance from the leader of the United Auto Workers (UAW), which represents many auto workers in the United States.
UAW chairman Rory Gamble cautioned against switching to electric vehicles, noting that fewer workers are needed to build electric vehicles than gasoline-powered vehicles and told Reutuers that “workers will suffer from disproportionately if we don’t do it right “.
In a statement last month, Gamble wrote that the US government needs to ensure that the transition to electric vehicles “is stable, reliable and creates quality, flexible union jobs at market demand not relying on a unique solution “.