California Phasing Out Gas Vehicles in Climate Change Fight

California set itself on a path Thursday to end the era of gas-powered cars, with air regulators adopting the world’s most stringent rules for transitioning to zero-emission vehicles.

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The move by the California Air Resources Board to have all new cars, pickup trucks and SUVs be electric or hydrogen by 2035 is likely to reshape the U.S. auto market, which gets 10% of its sales from the nation’s most populous state.

But such a radical transformation in what people drive will also require at least 15 times more vehicle chargers statewide, a more robust energy grid and vehicles that people of all income levels can afford.

“It’s going to be very hard getting to 100%,” said Daniel Sperling, a board member and founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis. “You can’t just wave your wand, you can’t just adopt a regulation — people actually have to buy them and use them.”

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom told state regulators two years ago to adopt a ban on gas-powered cars by 2035, one piece of California’s aggressive suite of policies designed to reduce pollution and fight climate change. If the policy works as designed, California would cut emissions from vehicles in half by 2040.

Other states are expected to follow, further accelerating the production of zero-emissions vehicles.

Washington state and Massachusetts already have said they will follow California’s lead and many more are likely to — New York and Pennsylvania are among 17 states that have adopted some or all of California’s tailpipe emission standards that are stricter than federal rules. The European Parliament in June backed a plan to effectively prohibit the sale of gas and diesel cars in the 27-nation European Union by 2035, and Canada has mandated the sale of zero-emission cars by the same year.

California’s policy doesn’t ban cars that run on gas — after 2035 people can keep their existing cars or buy used ones, and 20% of sales can be plug-in hybrids that run on batteries and gas. Though hydrogen is a fuel option under the new regulations, cars that run on fuel cells have made up less than 1% of car sales in recent years.

The switch from gas will drastically reduce emissions and air pollutants. Transportation is the single largest source of emissions in the state, accounting for about 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. The air board is working on different regulations for motorcycles and larger trucks.

California envisions powering most of the economy with electricity, not fossil fuels by 2045. A plan released by the air board earlier this year predicts electricity demand will shoot up by 68%. Today, the state has about 80,000 public chargers. The California Energy Commission predicted that needs to jump to 1.2 million by 2030.

The commission says car charging will account for about 4% of energy by 2030 when use is highest, typically during hot summer evenings. That’s when California sometimes struggles to provide enough energy because the amount of solar power diminishes as the sun goes down. In August 2020, hundreds of thousands of people briefly lost power due to high demand that outstripped supply.

That hasn’t happened since and to ensure it doesn’t going forward Newsom, a Democrat, is pushing to keep open the state’s last-remaining nuclear plant beyond its planned closure in 2025 and the state may turn to diesel generators or natural gas plants as a backup when the electrical grid is strained.

More than 1 million people drive electric cars in California today and their charging habits vary, but most people end up charging their cars in the evening or overnight, said Ram Rajagopal, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University who has studied car charging habits and energy grid needs.

If people’s charging habits stay the same, once 30% to 40% of cars are electric, the state would need to add more energy capacity overnight to meet demand, he said. The regulations adopted Thursday require 35% of vehicle sales to be electric by 2026, up from 16% now

But if more people charged their cars during the day, that problem would be avoided, he said. Changing to daytime charging is “the biggest bang for the buck you’re going to get,” he said.

Both the state and federal government are spending billions to build more chargers along public roadways, at apartment complexes and elsewhere to give people more charging options.

The oil industry believes California is going too far. It’s the seventh-largest oil-producing state and shouldn’t wrap its entire transportation strategy around a vehicle market powered by electricity, said Tanya DeRivi, vice president for climate policy with the Western States Petroleum Association, an industry group.

“Californians should be able to choose a vehicle technology, including electric vehicles, that best fits their needs based on availability, affordability, and personal necessity,” she said.

Many car companies, like Kia, Ford and General Motors, are already on the path to making more electric cars available for sale, but some have warned that factors outside of their control like supply chain and materials issues make Californians’ goals challenging.

“Automakers could have significant difficulties meeting this target given elements outside of the control of the industry,” Kia Corp.’s Laurie Holmes told the air board before its vote.

As the requirements ramp up over time, automakers could be fined up to $20,000 per vehicle sold that falls short of the goal, though they’ll have time to comply if they miss the target in a given year.

The new rules approved by the air board say that the vehicles need to be able to travel 150 miles (241 kilometers) on one charge. Federal and state rebates are also available to people who buy electric cars, and the new rules have incentives for car companies to sell electric cars at a discount to low-income buyers.

But some representatives of business groups and rural areas said they fear electric cars will be too expensive or inconvenient.

Click here to read the full article in AP News


  1. Viva 🇲🇽 Mexico

  2. LMAO!

    By 2035, CA population will be close to zero.

  3. The old guys that restore classic vehicles have got this figured out.

  4. Finally, the straw that breaks the camels back!

    • CA taxpayer says

      And – I’d say – it’s ’bout time the mainstream taxpayers/citizens get involved and say NO MORE!!!!

  5. Back in ’20, when Newsom proclaimed this our CA GOP said not to worry.
    It was far in the future.
    Because the Gov was just posturing to activists.
    And the next Gov could rescind it.

    Now we learn it’s a coordinated plan by Dems nationwide to essentially criminalize owning a gas car.

    Our CA GOP has no hill that it is willing to fight and die on.
    Unless the hill is populated with pro-Trump members of the base. Then they’ll throw caution to the winds …

  6. LOL..all we need to do is to get rid of the NAZI’S RUNNING CALIFORNIA AND TELL THEM TO BYE BYE

  7. Why don’t someone asks these stupid shits where are they going to get the electricity for their electric cars????Nuclear power plants? burn coal to make electricity? Demoshits are such STUPID PEOPLE…COWARDS….

  8. Robert Wilson says

    THIS IS A VERY DANGEROUS, INSANE DEMOCRATIC FANTASY!!! If this were actually fully implemented, California’s economy would be dead!!!! Republicans, independents, and democrats who are not brain dead need to stand up and start fighting like crazy or there will not be a tomorrow that you would even be sustainable!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. “The switch from gas will drastically reduce emissions and air pollutants.”

    When still semi independent as an agency CARB stated in 2000 that the last 2% of air pollution measured in 1960 in S. Calif would be eliminated by 2010. They said that and also stated that if the State did “nothing more” this would happen. Guess what CARB was right.

    What did the Democrats do? Changed the measurement standard. All of a sudden “particulates” became the boggy man. Ag. industry was put in the cross hairs. How do you raise crops without particulates in the air? You don’t.

    Al Gore was wrong. But that did not stop the Democrats from making a multi-Billion dollar killing on carbon credits that have not worked.

    Newsom is a very DANGEROUS male (note I did not say man). He goes on the media and talks about the devastating drought. He never mentions the 1860-1870 drought that hammered California and the Southwest. He talked about the Hurricane Season of 2022 that was going to crash into the east states and Gulf Coast. As of now it is a ZERO Hurricane season with ZERO Named Storms. So much for the predictions of the Democrat Party.

    But, But, But, what about the drought in Europe? What about the drought in Africa?

    I have a question what about the fact that Greenland was named because when the Norse settled it, it was green and grew crops?

    I could keep going. Are you getting it? Do you know that So. Cal. Gas is now producing a Carbon Neutral product? So why are the Democrats demanding they be put out of business.


    Still voting Democrat? Are you That Stupid? Let’s have another LA riot, or Oakland BLM riot, or an ANTIFA RIOT…….GEEZ.

  10. ” If the policy works as designed,…..”

    I have been on this planet a long time and I have NEVER seen a government policy work as designed. In fact, they create more and bigger problems.

    Consider this. Where will the charging current come from to charge all these electric toy scooters? And this: one major manufacturer says they will produce one million cars this year. At 7,000 batteries per car times 1,000000 they will have to recycle/dispose of SEVEN BILLION batteries. And this is just the one company. Is our pretty Guvy factoring that in? That’d be a lotta grapes!

    All that massive recycling starts in about ten years, the life (est) of the batteries. It’s already ongoing for existing batteries from all applications.

  11. Classic Cart before the Horse. Instead of supporting R&D for alternative energy SOLUTIONS, the left wing zealots are commanding somebody, anybody, everybody to conform to a system that has yet to be invented.
    The far left is mandating a zero carbon America and it has no idea how to do it except kill fossil fuel production? Madness.
    The green new deal is proving to be a recipe for extinction of the developing world. Maybe the left will smarten up when politicians are being dragged out of their heated/cooled homes, when nobody else can afford it.

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