We knew California was planning to take a significant step to make a major impact on the U.S.’s transition to electrification with a ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035, well after Gavin Newsom’s term as governor is over. Now the decision has been signed into law, making California the first state to mandate zero-emission vehicles across the board in less than 13 years from now.
California ICE Car Ban: Details
The California Air Resources Board issued the rule and will require that all new cars sold in the state by 2035 will be free of fossil fuel emissions. In addition, the rule sets targets that 35 percent of new passenger vehicles sold in the state by 2026 will produce zero emissions, and that percentage is expected to rise to 68 percent by 2030. As California is the biggest car market in the U.S., The new restrictions will have a major effect on the transition to electric vehicles. Additionally, over a dozen states in the country have been known to follow California’s lead when setting their own vehicle emission standards, which means the nation will likely follow in this ban decision.
It’s possible that at least 12 other states could adopt a similar policy. On top of that, five other states are expected to create a similar rule in about a year as they’re known for following California’s vehicle pollution reduction program. That means that around 30 percent of all states in the country would implement similar bans on gasoline/diesel engines. If that wasn’t all, experts state that the new California rule could stand alongside the Washington law as one of the world’s most important climate change policies, as California’s influence is expected to ripple through other policy spheres.
Along with California and Washington, Massachusetts has also confirmed a similar policy, while New York already has a similar ruling in place. All of these states feature a strong Democrat majority in their respective congresses.
The California gas vehicle ban does coincide with the current future product agendas of US-based automakers such as General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and the FCA branch of Stellantis. Tesla and Rivian are already producing electric vehicles exclusively.
Despite the politics of the California gasoline vehicle ban, the market environment has not been kind early EV entries. We’ve seen price hikes, production constraints, and rolling updates to battery chemistry from various automakers just to keep things going. And with a looming economic recession, inflation, rising commodity prices, and unfavorable supply chain modeling, electric vehicles are projected to be expensive, and in short supply.