California will take a major step towards combating climate change by outlawing the sale of new gasoline-only vehicles by 2035.
The new regulations are designed to compel automakers to speed up the release of cleaner automobiles on the market.
It follows California Governor Gavin Newsom’s goal to hasten the transition away from fossil fuels in 2020.
The decision is significant since California has one of the largest economies in the world and is the most populated state in the US.
By 2026, 35% of new cars sold in the state must be hydrogen, electric, or hybrid vehicles, according to regulations set forth by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
By 2030 and 2035, respectively, 100% of vehicle sales would be subject to the requirements.
“A historic moment for California, for our partner states, and for the world as we lay forth a course toward a zero-emission future,” CARB chair Laine Randolph said of the decision.
The statement represents California’s most recent action as it continues to tighten emission regulations more quickly than the US federal government.
The most populous US state is California, with more than 39 million citizens. Its gross domestic product would place it ahead of the United Kingdom as the fifth-largest economy in the world if it were a separate nation.
“The proposal put forth by CARB is “both realistic and sets the way for California to lead in electrifying the light-duty sector,” according to Joseph Mendelson, senior counsel of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla.
To increase demand for electric vehicles, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents automakers such as General Motors, Volkswagen, and Toyota, said more needed to be done (EVs).
According to the alliance’s president and chief executive John Bozzella, “what we’ve emphasized to CARB and others is that getting more EVs on the road must happen hand-in-hand with other policies that together will ultimately decide the success of this transition.”
Before the new regulations can go into force, the US government must still approve them.
The Environmental Protection Agency and US President Joe Biden were urged by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers trade group to “reject California’s request for a Clean Air Act waiver to proceed with this unconstitutional prohibition.”