Cal­i­for­nia moves to end sales of new gas ve­hi­cles

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - CANADA & WORLD - ADAM BEAM

SACRA­MENTO, CALIF. — Cal­i­for­nia will halt sales of new gaso­linepow­ered pas­sen­ger cars and trucks by 2035, Gov. Gavin New­som an­nounced Wed­nes­day, a move he says will cut green­house gas emis­sions by 35 per cent in the coun­try’s most pop­u­lous state.

His plan would not ban peo­ple from own­ing gas-pow­ered cars or selling them on the used car mar­ket. But it would end the sales of all new gaso­line-pow­ered pas­sen­ger cars and trucks in the state of nearly 40 mil­lion peo­ple.

“Pull away from the gas pumps,” New­som said. “Let us no longer be vic­tims of geopo­lit­i­cal dic­ta­tors that ma­nip­u­late global sup­ply chains and global mar­kets.”

Cal­i­for­nia is the world’s fifth­largest econ­omy and Cal­i­for­ni­ans ac­count for more than one out of ev­ery 10 new ve­hi­cles sold in the U.S. — mar­ket clout that means New­som’s or­der could have a huge im­pact on the coun­try’s auto in­dus­try and the global ef­fort to re­duce pol­lu­tion and com­bat climate change.

Cal­i­for­nia al­ready has rules man­dat­ing a cer­tain per­cent­age of new car sales must be elec­tric or zero-emis­sion ve­hi­cles. This rule would make Cal­i­for­nia the first U.S. state with a plan to phase them out com­pletely.

At least 15 other coun­tries have al­ready made sim­i­lar com­mit­ments, in­clud­ing Ger­many, France and Nor­way.

Tailpipe ex­haust from cars, pick­ups, trac­tor-trailer rigs and others are the sin­gle largest source of air pol­lu­tion. Jessica Cald­well, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of in­sights at the Ed­munds.com auto pric­ing site, said New­som’s an­nounce­ment “does seem like this is a sig­nif­i­cant shot fired against” the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine.

She ex­pects the Cal­i­for­nia an­nounce­ment to trig­ger high­level meet­ings at all the auto com­pa­nies which were mov­ing to­ward elec­tric ve­hi­cles but didn’t ex­pect a zero-emis­sions man­date in 15 years. Au­tomak­ers may have to re­think man­u­fac­tur­ing and cap­i­tal spend­ing plans be­cause of the man­date, she said.

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