California Votes to Ban Sale of New Gas-Powered Cars by 2035

The idea is for cars to go fully hydro or electric, a move that is a first for not just the U.S., but worldwide.


New gas-powered cars will no longer be sold come 2035 after the California Air Resources Board voted on the policy this past Thursday.

The idea is for cars to go fully hydro or electric by that time, a move that is a first for not just the U.S., but worldwide.

“We can solve this climate crisis if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to cut pollution,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said Thursday. “California now has a groundbreaking, world-leading plan to achieve 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035.”

Newsom ordered the ban back in September of 2020 in a statement noting, “The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80 percent of smog-forming pollution and 95 percent of toxic diesel emissions—all while communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley see some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in the country.” At the time of the announcement, he was able to secure commitments to ramp up the production of zero-emission vehicles from Honda, General Motors, Volvo, Ford, and BMW.

“Ford is proud to be the only American automaker to stand with California for reduced greenhouse gas emissions,” Ford COO Jim Farley said after joining California in its zero-emission vehicle goal in 2020. “We want to leave a better world to the next generation.”

On Thursday, Newsom said the expectation is for zero-emission vehicles to make up 35% of car sales by 2026, 68% of sales by 2030, and a complete transition by 2035.

“That’s 915 million oil barrels’ worth of emissions that won’t pollute our communities,” Newsoms said Thursday. “California will continue to lead the revolution towards our zero-emission transportation future.”

Newsom added the state will work to make zero-emission electric or hydrogen cars more affordable by the 2035 deadline.

The state currently has roughly 80,000 EV charging stations,  with a 2025 goal of having 250,000 available for drivers.

With the ban only applying to new cars, used gas-powered cars will be unaffected by the policy, although it is not immediately clear what the transition will mean for gas fuel companies, taxes on gas-powered vehicles, or other incentives to switch over to a zero-emission vehicle.

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