Gov. Gavin Newsom has banned the sale of gasoline cars in California by 2035. He signed an executive order to enforce the phasing out of internal combustion engine cars in an aggressive move to eliminate emissions in the state. He has ordered the California Air Resources Board to create a plan to implement the gradual removal of gasoline cars in 15 years’ time, and the elimination of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045.
He appears to be following the precedence set by former Gov. Jerry Brown who signed an executive order in 2018 to establish 200 hydrogen fuel stations and 250,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2025 so as to support the 1.5 million electric cars that are projected to be on California roads by then.
The largest number of cars in the US are sold or purchased in California, and the highest number of electric cars is also sold in the state. In 2019, 1.8 million vehicles were sold in California and 156,000 electric cars were sold in the state within the same year.
Gov. Newsom blames gasoline cars for some of the wildfires in California which firefighters are still struggling to contain at the moment, saying the removal of internal combustion engine vehicles will reduce the threats of climate change.
“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” the governor said in a statement. “Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse — and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted that replacing all gasoline cars on the road with electric cars will take about 15 years. At the moment, California leads the country in its ZEV standards and nine other states have begun to adopt the ZEV policies of the state. Fifteen countries around the world have also set futuristic dates to eliminate gasoline vehicles from their roads.
The federal Clean Air Act empowers states to create their own emission rules, but President Donald Trump has been working to revoke the powers of California to do this, necessitating a court action. But Newsom forges ahead to implement his zero-emission policy in the state.
“Pull away from the gas pumps,” Newsom said. “Let us no longer be victims of geopolitical dictators that manipulate global supply chains and global markets.”