Earlier this month, the California Air Resources Board voted to phase out sales of cars powered by gasoline. The full effect of this decision is expected to be felt more than twelve years from now, that is in 2035. By then, most cars or vehicles plying the roads of California will exclusively run on electricity or hydrogen.
About the new regulation
The new regulation is an outcome of an executive order released by Gavin Newsom in 2020. The new regulation will be introduced in phases and there is an exception for plug-in hybrids. Plug-in hybrids can make up to 20% of new car sales, even after 2035.
The regulation is designed to accelerate the transmission to zero-emission vehicles. However, the regulation does not ban any used car sales in California or combustion engines from plying the roads.
The newly introduced regulation mandates that 35% of new car sales by 2026 must be zero-emission vehicles. This number is expected to touch 68% by the year 2030. Sixteen other states and Washington D.C are currently inspired by the zero-emission policies of California and may adopt similar regulations soon.
California still has a long way to go when it comes to transitioning to zero-emission vehicles. According to the state’s Energy Commission, only 12.4% of cars sold in California were battery-electric or plugin hybrids as of 2021. A spokesperson from California Air Resources Board revealed that this regulation was not actually a ban. He also mentioned that vehicles with internal combustion engines would be allowed to ply the roads till the end of their vehicle life.