California to ban new gas-powered cars sales by 2035


California is banning the sales of new gasoline-only vehicles by 2035, marking a historic step toward combating climate change.

The new regulations, issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on Aug. 24, are intended to push carmakers to accelerate production of cleaner automobiles. 

The announcement comes after Governor Gavin Newsom set a target in 2020 to speed up the shift away from fossil fuels.

The move is significant since California has the highest population in the US and is one of the world's biggest economies. 

Under the new rules, 35% of new vehicles sold in California must be electric, hybrid or hydrogen-powered cars by 2026, 68% by 2030 and 100% by 2035. 

CARB chair Laine Randolph said the move was “a historic moment for California, for our partner states and for the world as we set forth a path toward a zero emission future”.

The new rule is the latest move taken by California, which continues to tighten pollution regulations more quickly than the US federal government.

Joseph Mendelson, senior counsel at electric carmaker Tesla, said CARB's plan was “both achievable and paves the way for California to lead in electrifying the light duty sector.”

However, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which includes automakers such as General Motors, Volkswagen, and Toyota, said that the government needs to do more to increase demand for electric vehicles (EVs).

“What we've said to CARB and others is that getting more EVs on the road must go hand-in-hand with other policies that together will ultimately determine the success of this transition,” the alliance's president and chief executive John Bozzella said.

The regulation still needs to be approved by the US government before it can go into force. However, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers trade association called on President Biden and the Environmental Protection Agency to “reject California's request for a Clean Air Act waiver to proceed with this unlawful ban.”

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