California asks EPA to approve ban on sales of gas-powered cars by 2035


California is urging the Biden administration to approve its plan to mandate all new vehicles sold in the state by 2035 to be either electric or plug-in electric hybrids, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB), which approved the plan in August, requested a green light from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on May 22 to waiver under the Clean Air Act to implement its new rules that set yearly rising zero-emission vehicle standards starting in 2026 and would end the sales of vehicles powered solely by gasoline by 2035.

California’s zero-emission rules deliver a 25% reduction in smog-causing pollution from light-duty vehicles. The rules require that 35% of new cars sold be plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), EVs, or hydrogen fuel cell by 2026. The proportion will then increase to 68% by 2030 and 100% by 2035.

California's zero-emission rules will cost $210.35 billion but will have total benefits of $301.41 billion through 2040, according to the 60-page California waiver request seen by Reuters.

Although California's electric vehicle rules are more stringent than those proposed by the Biden administration, a growing number of states are adopting California's requirements. Rhode Island, Washington, Virginia, Vermont, Oregon, New York, and Massachusetts have joined in adopting the California requirements.

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