More new cars in California in 2035
“The rapid acceleration of the number of zero-emission vehicles on our roads and highways will dramatically reduce emissions and pollution for all Californians,” said Liane Randolph, chairwoman of the California Air Quality Board (CARB) approved the measure in a statement.
The decree, which will effectively ban the sale of new diesel and gasoline cars from 2035, formalizes the targets set in September 2020 by the state’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom.
By 2026, one-third of car sales in California must be “zero-emission” vehicles, meaning vehicles powered by electricity, hydrogen and some hybrids, and two-thirds by 2030.
“The timetable is ambitious but achievable: by the time a child born this year is of college age, only zero-emission vehicles and a limited number of plug-in hybrids will be available for sale in new cars in California,” CARB noted.
CARB also estimates that by 2037, the new standard will result in a 25% reduction in smog from light-duty vehicles.
“This will benefit all Californians, but particularly the most economically and environmentally burdened communities along motorways and other high-traffic routes,” CARB added.
The bureau also argues that, from 2026 to 2040, the new regulation will prevent 1,290 deaths from cardiopulmonary disease, among other things.
The state’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, welcomed the measure. Reducing the number of polluting vehicles on the road is equivalent to “the emissions caused by 915 million barrels of oil”.
The state of California, with its more than 40 million consumers, is the largest market in the US and its standards impact manufacturing across the country.
Car manufacturer General Motors had already announced in January 2021 its intention to stop building cars with polluting emissions by 2035, although the group has not openly committed to offering only electric vehicles in 13 years.
The acceptance of the measure in California comes as President Joe Biden signed into law a massive climate and health investment plan, which includes a USD 370 billion package to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.
Several countries such as the UK, Singapore and Israel have committed to ending sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, and Norway has made this commitment for 2025.
According to scientists, the ever-increasing use of fossil fuels has led to global warming, which has contributed to more frequent and violent extreme weather events.
There is so much to be done, but one of the solutions to combat global warming is to limit polluting emissions from fossil fuels, say the experts.