California to ban all internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed an executive order banning all sales of gasoline-powered vehicles in the state by 2035 to help meet the state’s zero-carbon goals and combat the climate change that fuels heat waves and fires this summer.

“Within the next 15 years, we will eliminate sales of internal combustion engine vehicles in California,” Newsom said at a news conference in Sacramento. This will significantly reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector which now accounts for 41% of the state’s total carbon emissions and is a major driver of petroleum fuel production which accounts for an additional 11% of that total, a- he declared.

Wednesday’s surprise move is part of Newsom’s pledge to bolster California’s carbon-cutting policies following a heatwave that brought record temperatures to the state and fueled wildfires that have burned more than 3.6 million acres and enveloped large parts of the state. in the smoke dangerous to health.

The need for drastic action is ‘obvious’ to ‘everyone living here struggling with the heat… struggling with the air quality [and]… grappling with the reality of some 3.6 million acres of this state that have burned,” Newsom said.

Banning fossil-fuel vehicles is also a key step toward meeting California’s goal of zeroing carbon emissions economywide by 2045, he said. While emissions from power generation have declined rapidly and efforts are underway to switch building heating from natural gas to electricity, emissions from transportation have increased slightly in recent years, a he declared.

The executive order will not prohibit the resale or use of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines in California, Newsom noted. But it will kick into high gear the state’s efforts to electrify its transportation fleet and expand infrastructure for other zero-emission vehicles such as fuel cell vehicles.

California has about 726,000 electric vehicles on the road today, which is just under half of the country’s total electric vehicle fleet, Newsom said. That’s a far cry from the 5 million requested by 2030 under an executive order from Governor Jerry Brown’s previous administration. But Newsom pointed to the rapid decline in the cost of batteries from automakers like Tesla and the growing number of commitments from automakers to build more low-cost electric vehicle models as evidence that electric vehicles will achieve cost parity with fossil fuel vehicles by the middle of the decade.

California utilities are also expected to invest more than $1 billion in electric vehicle charging infrastructure for cars, buses, trucks and other battery-powered vehicles over the next few years. Southern California Edison received regulatory approval this summer to spend $436 million to install 38,000 light-duty electric vehicle chargers and $356 million for at least 870 medium- and heavy-duty commercial charging stations. Pacific Gas & Electric’s electric vehicle charging program will bring 7,500 Level 2 chargers to its territory over the next few years.

Threats from the Trump administration

Newsom praised automakers such as Tesla, Ford, Volvo, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen for agreeing to meet California’s self-imposed fuel economy and vehicle emissions standards. Those rules are under threat from the Trump administration’s decision to roll back national emissions standards and its efforts to prevent California and other states from setting their own emissions standards.

Newsom cited this summer’s Advanced Clean Trucks regulation from the California Air Resources Board, which mandates the gradual conversion of heavy-duty vehicles to zero-emission models from 2024 to 2045, as setting the precedent for the executive order’s accelerated timeline to push fuels. fossil vehicles from the market.

European countries, including France, the UK and the Netherlands, are also committing to zero-emission transport over the next few decades, Newsom noted. “Trends are moving in the direction of zero-emission vehicles. If you’re an American manufacturer, how can you compete globally if you’re not in that industry? »

Newsom’s executive order also targets fossil fuel extraction in the state, but not as aggressively as some are calling for. The order will set out a process to consider a ban on natural gas fracking by 2024; the findings are expected to be presented to the state legislature next year. But Newsom has refused to ban fracking via executive action, despite calls to do so from environmental groups.

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