California is Banning the Sale of New Gas Vehicles - The Khuram Dhanani Foundation
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California is Banning the Sale of New Gas Vehicles

California is Banning the Sale of New Gas Vehicles

California is anticipated to ban the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035. This is one of the many steps the state is taking to reduce emissions and fight against climate change. 

This ban will be the most significant government move to date against diesel and gasoline. It may even have a ripple effect throughout the country’s auto industry due to California being the state that has the most vehicle purchases in the United States. 

Where Did This Proposal Come From?

CARB, also known as The California Air Resources Board, supervises pollution in California and voted on this proposal, which passed on Thursday, August 25th. It will require one hundred percent of vehicles sold in California to produce no greenhouse gas emissions in 2035. They are resorting to this to deal with the impacts climate change cause and protect air quality. Diesel and gas-powered vehicles make both air quality and climate change worse.

Additionally, the CARB Advanced Clean Cars II rule sets an interlude milestone that requires thirty-five percent of new vehicles to produce no emissions. This will rapidly increase to nearly seventy percent of new vehicle sales by 2030. 

What Kind of Impact Will This Have?

California has been the leading state in the automobile industry. The state sells the most cars than any other state in the country. Believe it or not, California has almost thirty million registered trucks and cars. In 2021, an additional one point eight million new vehicles were purchased. Around eight percent of that number were electric vehicles. California Air Resources Board also has specific permission from the United States government to set stricter rules for air quality for all vehicles. It’s evident that automakers can’t or don’t like to make different vehicles for different states based on what the states allow. California setting the standard for vehicles will cause the effects to bleed into other states and possibly even other parts of the world.

The thing to focus on now that the proposal has been approved is whether or not California will be able to meet the targets caused by the new rule. There isn’t only the challenge of getting automakers to build vehicles that will produce zero emissions but also convincing consumers to buy them. 

The deadline of 2035 is arguably very far off in terms of perspective when it comes to environmental impact. Still, it’s not a far-off deadline when it comes to development timelines for vehicles. It takes years for a vehicle to go from the creation process to the road. Never mind taking into account all the various needs consumers will demand from zero-emission vehicles. Unfortunately, in the meantime, most of the vehicles sold will run on fossil fuels that continue to damage the planet.

​​Transportation generates the most considerable amount of greenhouse gases in the United States. For example, 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 were from transportation. Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation primarily come from burning fossil fuels for trucks, cars, planes, ships, and trains. Additionally, over 90% of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum-based. This includes diesel and gasoline primarily.

The US has a climate commitment act, and that climate commitment act states that the country aims to cut its overall emissions by at least fifty percent by 2030. However, at this time, only a small amount of new vehicles in the US produce no emissions. Furthermore, at the current growth rate, only a quarter of new vehicles in the country will be electric by the year 2035. This means sales need to increase drastically.

We would also like to mention that the CARB, also known as the California Air Resources Board, the proposal will not take gasoline-powered vehicles off the road. The proposal only stops dealers from selling new gas-powered vehicles. The average car will stay on the road for more than 11 years; this means vehicles in California will still require diesel and gasoline for years after 2035.

Many automobile manufacturers have backed the proposal and have stated that they’re betting on a future powered by electricity. Still, there’s no doubt that fossil fuel vehicle phaseout will test several automobile manufacturer commitments.

However, there has been some positive feedback; Ford has been more than enthusiastic about the new proposal. Bob Holycross, chief sustainability officer at Ford, stated in an email, “The CARB Advanced Clean Cars II rule is a landmark standard that will define clean transportation and set an example for the United States.” Ford had previously sided with the state of California when Republican state attorneys tried suing so California’s authority could be taken away and they could no longer set pollution standards for vehicles.

What Does This Ban Mean for You?

So automobile manufacturers may favor this change, but what about consumers? Vehicles in the United States are getting more and more expensive. A new car costs, on average, more than $47,000. Additionally, both used and new vehicle prices reached an all-time high this year. Meanwhile, 85 percent of new car purchases require a loan, and the average annual income in the US is $41,000. 

These limitations make electric vehicles even more challenging to sell now. In addition, electric vehicles are more expensive now than their gas-powered counterparts. However, there are state and federal incentives and credits that can be obtained to lower the cost of electric vehicles. The Inflation Reduction Act, which was recently passed, gives buyers over $7,000 in credits for a new electric car. Buyers receive around $4,000 for a used electric vehicle. The United States government is also setting stricter standards regarding fuel economy to push manufacturers into making cleaner vehicles.

Wrapping Up

However, we would like to mention after all that while this proposal is a huge step, electric vehicles are only one way to remove carbon from transportation. Nearly seventy-five percent of vehicle trips in the US are less than ten miles, so getting people to utilize public transportation like buses, trains, and bikes would decrease greenhouse gas emissions significantly as well. However, we acknowledge that this would require more investment in infrastructure and incentives. Still, California’s effort to reduce the use of fossil fuels is a vital sign for the automobile industry to change its direction.