California will require all new cars, trucks and SUVs run on electricity or hydrogen by 2035 under a policy approved by regulators on Thursday that seeks a drastic reduction in carbon emissions and the eventual end of gasoline engines.
The California Air Resources Board’s decision came two years after Governor Gavin Newsom first ordered regulators to consider such a policy. If the goal is met, California would cut car emissions in half by 2040.
The measure gives the most populous state in the United States the strictest regulations in the world for the transition to electric vehicles. It is hoped that this will inspire other states to follow California’s lead and accelerate the production of zero-emission vehicles by automakers.
The policy has yet to be approved by the federal government, but is considered very likely under the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden.
“This is a historic moment for California, for our partner states, and for the world, because we are paving the way to a zero-emission futuredeclared Liane Randolph, president of the air board, during a public hearing before the vote.
The policy allows Californians to continue driving gas-powered vehicles and buying used vehicles after 2035, but no new model will be sold as is.
A fifth of automaker sales after 2035 could be plug-in hybrids, which run on batteries and gasolinebut the rest must run on electricity or hydrogen only.
In June, the European Parliament approved a plan effectively ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars and diesel in all 27 countries of the European Union by 2035, and Canada made the sale of zero-emission cars mandatory by the same year.
California climate officials declare new state policy is the most ambitious in the world as it sets benchmarks for increased electric vehicle sales over the next 13 years.
The first mandatory threshold occurs in 2026, when one-third of all vehicles sold in the state must be zero-emissions. Automakers could be fined $20,000 for each vehicle sold below that target.
Around 16% of cars sold in California in the first three months of this year they were electric.
The state of Washington and Massachusetts have already announced that they will follow California’s lead. and likely many more will: New York and Pennsylvania are among 17 states that have adopted some or all of California’s exhaust emission standards that are stricter than federal standards.
Car manufacturers could be affected by the obligation to manufacture electric vehicles
Kia’s Laurie Holmes said the company plan to spend $25 billion by 2025 in electric vehicles and plans to offer seven models by 2027.
But she and several other automaker representatives raised concerns about the state’s schedule due to factors such as supply chain challenges and the high cost of materials to build electric cars.
“Car manufacturers could have significant difficulties to achieve this goal given the elements beyond the industry’s control,” he said.
Switch from petrol to electric cars will significantly reduce emissions and air pollutantsBut the transition will be painful for the state’s oil industry. California remains the seventh-largest oil-producing state in the United States, although its production is declining as it moves toward climate goals.
The State should not complete its entire transport strategy around a market for vehicles powered by electricitysaid Tanya DeRivi, vice president for climate policy at the Western States Petroleum Association, an oil industry group.
“Californians should be able to choose vehicle technology, including electric vehicles, that best suits their needs based on availability, affordability and personal needs,” he said.
The “challenge” of transitioning to electric vehicles in California
California is the most populous state in the country, with around 39 million people. They represent 10% of the American automobile market.but they own 43% of the 2.6 million electric vehicles registered in the country, according to the Air Board.
Achieve the goal of 100% by 2035 will involve overcoming very concrete obstaclesin particular, sufficiently reliable supply and charging stations.
California now has about 80,000 stations in public placeswell below the 250,000 it wants by 2025. The Automotive Innovation Alliance, which represents many major automakers, aware of the lack of infrastructure, access to the materials needed to manufacture the batteries and to supply them. chain issues are among the challenges to meet the state schedule.
The new commitment came as California strives to maintain reliable electricity while moving away from gas-fired power plants in favor of solar, wind and other cleaner energy sources. Earlier this year, top California energy officials warned that the state could run out of power during the hottest days of summerwhich happened briefly in August 2020.
It hasn’t happened yet this year. But Newsom, a Democrat, is working to keep the state’s last nuclear plant open beyond its scheduled shutdown in 2025, and the state may turn to diesel generators or natural gas plants for backup. when the power grid is overloaded.
Adding car chargers will increase demand on the power grid.
Ensuring access to charging stations is also key to increasing sales of electric vehicles. The infrastructure bill passed by Congress last year provides $5 billion for states to build charging centers every 50 miles (80 kilometers) along interstate highways.
Meanwhile, Newsom has pledged to spend billions to increase sales of zero-emission vehicles, including the addition of charging stations in low-income neighborhoods. New rules approved by the Air Board state that vehicles must be able to travel 150 miles (241 kilometers) on a single charge.
Driving an electric vehicle long distances today, even in California, requires careful planning of where to stop and recharge, said Mary Nichols, former chair of the California Air Resources Board. Money from state and federal governments will go a long way to strengthening this infrastructure and making electric cars a more practical optionsaid.
“East it will be a process of transformation and the vehicle sales mandate is only part of that,” he said.
Although hydrogen is a fuel option under the new regulations, cars powered by fuel cells accounted for less than 1% of sales automotive in recent years.
State governments and the federal government they have refunds for thousands of dollars to offset the cost of buying electric cars, and the rules include incentives for automakers to make used electric vehicles available to low- and middle-income people.
For the past 12 years, California has provided over a billion dollars in refunds for the sale of 478,000 electric, hybrid or plug-in vehicles, according to the Air Board.