California approves ban on gas-powered car sales by 2035

Traffic in Los Angeles Source: iStock

California becomes the world’s first government to effectively ban gas-powered vehicle sales by 2035 after a Thursday vote by the state’s top air regulator.

The California Air Resources Board voted unanimously to adopt Advanced Clean Cars II, a statewide plan that mandates 100 per cent zero-emission and hybrid plug-in vehicle sales. The plan, with an initial goal of 35 per cent sales by 2026, would achieve goals from a 2020 executive order from Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).

“This is a historic moment for California, for our partner states, and for the world as we set forth this path towards a zero-emission future,” Board Chair Liane Randolph said ahead of the vote.

It’s set to ripple beyond the Golden State, as the rule will likely be adopted by 15 other states currently signed onto California’s existing zero-emission vehicle program. Work to implement the rule will begin in 2023.

During a hearing, environmental advocates, health organizations, and some trade groups expressed broad support for the plan’s reductions of greenhouse gases, and some voiced concerns about electric vehicle access and affordability.

Funds from the recently signed climate-and-tax law, the Inflation Reduction Act (Public Law 117-169), provide a boost for households looking to buy EVS, with tax credits of up to $7,500 based on income.

Those incentives, on top of incentives in the California plan and market forces, would only make vehicles cheaper, board staff said.

“Some people were complaining about the cost of electric vehicles, new electric vehicles,” board member Hector De La Torre said. “Price parity is coming.”

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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