California, the nation’s largest vehicle market, has announced that the sale of new gasoline passenger cars and trucks will be banned after 2035. The ban comes as a result of an Executive Order from Governor Gavin Newsom and directly addresses the state’s long-term climate goals amid an ongoing season of particularly extreme wildfires. The next steps will be for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish binding requirements setting this new rule in motion.
California has led the country in the establishment of vehicle sales requirements and this new regulation builds off of the ZEV Program, which requires automakers in the state to sell an increasing proportion of ZEVs each year. The program was strengthened in 2010 and CARB estimated it would lead to eight percent electrification of new vehicle sales by 2025. California has reached this goal five years and in July 2020, nine percent of the new vehicles sold were EVs.
In addition to electrifying the state’s passenger vehicle stock, California passed the first-of-its-kind regulation requiring ZEV truck sales. The Advanced Clean Trucks Rule will set in motion regulations requiring 100 percent ZEV truck sales by 2045, 10 years after the light-duty vehicle target. The gasoline car sales ban sets up a potential legal battle with the federal government which took steps to limit the state’s ability to set their own emissions standards in the fall of 2019.