Cal­i­for­nia to end sales of new gas-pow­ered cars

Gov­er­nor’s or­der re­quires zero-emis­sion ve­hi­cles by 2035

Albuquerque Journal - - BUSINESS - BY ADAM BEAM

SACRA­MENTO, Calif. — Cal­i­for­nia will halt sales of new gaso­line-pow­ered pas­sen­ger cars and trucks by 2035, Gov. Gavin New­som an­nounced Wed­nes­day, a move he says will cut green­house gas emis­sions by 35% in the na­tion’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, if im­ple­mented, 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 other trans­porta­tion 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.

The Al­liance for Au­to­mo­tive In­no­va­tion, which rep­re­sents most au­tomak­ers in­clud­ing Ford, which New­som lauded for its an­tipol­lu­tion ef­forts, said that al­though the in­dus­try is com­mit­ted to more elec­tric ve­hi­cles and will work with Cal­i­for­nia, mar­kets can’t be built with man­dates and bans.

CEO John Bozzella called for com­bined ef­forts in­volv­ing lo­cal, state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments as well as the auto in­dus­try and other busi­nesses.

“It will re­quire in­creased in­fra­struc­ture, in­cen­tives, fleet re­quire­ments, build­ing codes, and much more,” Bozzella said in a state­ment.

MARK J. TERRILL/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Cars move through traf­fic on the Hol­ly­wood Free­way in Los An­ge­les on April 16. Cal­i­for­nia Gov. Gavin New­som said on Wed­nes­day that the state will halt sales of new gaso­line-pow­ered ve­hi­cles by 2035.

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