California, others put brakes on gas-powered car sales

FILE – Electric cars are parked at a charging station in Sacramento, Calif., on April 13, 2022. California is poised to require 100% of new cars, trucks and SUVs sold in the state to be powered by electricity or hydrogen by 2035, a groundbreaking climate policy likely to reshape the U.S. car market by speeding the transition to electric vehicles. The California Air Resources Board will vote Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, on the policy, which would set the nation’s most aggressive mandates for transitioning to electric vehicles. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

(NewsNation) — Across the country, more and more places are looking at banning the sales of gas-powered vehicles in the future.

California is poised to ban the sale of cars, trucks and SUVs that use gas by 2035, in favor of vehicles that are powered by electricity or hydrogen. The policy doesn’t eliminate gas-powered vehicles, and people can still purchase used ones, but California’s is the most aggressive roadmap in the nation for moving away from them.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said it will drastically reduce emissions and air pollutants, along with improving public health in the state that accounts for 25% of the nation’s car sales.

FILE – California Gov. Gavin Newsom visits Ford Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, to highlight his proposed budget that includes billions of dollars to accelerate the state’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) goals. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group via AP, File)

“The climate crisis is solvable if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to stem the tide of carbon pollution,” Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. 

The California Air Resources Board is set to vote Thursday on the policy. Although it has lofty goals, the plan would be rolled out slowly, with California saying it wants to see at least a third of all new car sales be electric in 2026.

Other states, like Massachusetts, Washington and New York have set similar goals to transform their car markets.

The Seattle Times reports that Washington’s new $17 billion transportation plan includes a goal of no new gas-powered cars by 2030, while in New York last year, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation effectively banning the sale of internal combustion engine cars and trucks by 2035. In addition, the legislation also requires new heavy- and medium-duty trucks being sold in New York to be in the zero-emissions category by 2045.

The move to electric vehicles is happening overseas as well. Earlier this summer, the European Parliament voted to require automakers to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 100% by 2035.

Dan Sperling, director of University of California Davis’ Institute of Transportation Studies, said other places will likely follow suit.

“Every major car company has already made plans to transition to electric vehicles. Many of them have announced dates when they’re going to stop selling gasoline vehicles,” he said. “So this is just a question of how fast and when — it’s not a question of if.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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