California made history on Thursday by becoming the first state to limit the sale of gas-powered cars. The measure, which will come into force in 2035, aims to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions over the next two decades, by boosting the sale of plug-in hybrid and electric models. Governor Gavin Newsom has called a move “bold” and “innovative” that will help transform the auto industry in the United States. With its 29 million registered vehicles (including 16 million cars), the entity is the main market for car manufacturers. They showed their support for the ambitious proposal and showed their willingness to build a zero-emissions future.
The proposal was approved on Thursday after five hours of discussion within the body responsible for combating air pollution. The rule puts California at the forefront of similar efforts around the world. Canada, the United Kingdom and nine other European countries, including Spain, have set targets for phasing out gasoline-powered cars between 2030 and 2040. None of these countries, however, have adopted resolutions like the one adopted today.
Vehicles are the number one cause of greenhouse gases in the United States. They represent 28% of the carbon footprint of the world power. By 2026, 35% of all cars for sale in California must be zero-emissions. This mark is expected to increase to 68% by 2030 and reach 100% by 2035. California estimates that by 2040 it will have reduced greenhouse gases by 50% and toxic emissions by 25%. smog. 17 other states could follow California’s example in the coming years.
The initiative, however, imposes goals that have been seen as a difficult challenge for some experts. The sale of electric vehicles in the United States represents only 4.4% of the market, according to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents the main manufacturers. This is the highest number on record and double what was recorded in 2020. It is an upward trend in a year marked by high gasoline prices, which have soared due of the war in Ukraine and inflationary pressures. The main market for electric vehicles is the west. In California, they account for 13% of new car sales. It is followed by Washington DC (10.9%), Washington State and Hawaii (7.7%), Oregon (7.6%) and Colorado (6.2%).
Electric car prices are the biggest hurdle for buyers. These average around $66,000, while gas-powered models can be had for an average of $45,000. California authorities estimate that electricity prices will drop over the next eight years to approach combustion models. The local government is ready to invest $10,000 million in loans and grants to make these cars more accessible.
“We can solve the climate crisis if we focus on big, risky steps to end pollution,” Newsom said Thursday. The Democratic governor introduced the proposal by executive order in September 2020. The politician then redoubled his commitment to reducing emissions. The move, he claims, moves California away from fossil fuels. “There are 915 million barrels with which we will stop polluting our communities,” the president added in a statement. Seven of the ten cities with the most problems of smog of the country are in California, which has a population of 40 million.
The body that unanimously approved the measure tried to avoid the word ban. The council, whose acronym in English is CARB, short for carbon, explained that it will allow manufacturers to sell hybrid models that combine fuel and electricity from sockets. The latter must however have a battery allowing a range of 80 kilometers (today only 16 kilometers are necessary) before switching to gasoline combustion. The state will be able to fine manufacturers up to $20,000 for each car that fails to meet the targets imposed from 2026. Authorities will also have to spend some $2,600 million to build charging ports vehicles throughout the region. Some organizations have questioned the preparation of the entity’s electrical network to take the step it is forced to take.
Major car manufacturers have taken up the challenge. “We are committed to building a zero-emissions future,” Ford said in a statement. The brand assures that the fight against climate change is one of its strategic priorities and has promised an investment of 50,000 million dollars to increase its production of electric vehicles and batteries. “The CARB rule is an innovative standard that will define clean transportation and set an example across the country,” Bob Holycross, chief sustainability officer for what was the nation’s top automaker, said in a statement.
Toyota, which toppled GM for the first time last year to become the top U.S. seller, also acknowledged the board’s vision and “leadership…and authority to set performance goals.” broadcasts”. GM also joined the effort. In January, it announced its commitment to eliminating polluting exhaust gases by 2035. To achieve this, it will invest $35 billion over the next three years, a 30% increase over previous annual budgets. Instead, Tesla, which only makes electric vehicles, asked CARB for more speed in the full transition to zero-emission vehicles.
In August 2021, President Joe Biden announced an Executive Order at the White House that sets a goal for electric car sales to reach 50% of the market by 2030. “The question is whether we are ahead or behind. in the race for the future,” said the chairman, who presented the initiative as a way to accelerate home production of zero-emission models. Geopolitical gesture too, since he intended to be muscular against China, a country which produces 70% of the batteries used by electric cars in the world. The project aims to chart a roadmap for a cleaner future, but has no penalties or punishments if the set target is not achieved.
The Administration’s good intentions received a major boost this summer. In the middle of this month, Biden had his flagship economic bill approved by Congress which envisions his universe of $430 trillion to be spent over the next 10 years promoting green energy through tax incentives. The objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. The rise of the electric car is vital for the objective to be achieved. And it will start to take shape in California.