Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool
Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order for California to phase out all gasoline-powered cars by 2035 in an effort to lower the state’s emissions.
The executive order will not make it illegal for Californians to own gas-powered vehicles or resell them as used cars, but it will require all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California to be zero-emission vehicles by the 2035 deadline.
“This is an economic opportunity: the opportunity to transform our economy across sectors, the opportunity to accelerate innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit, the opportunity to bring more companies here into the state of California.” Said Newsom as he explained California will retain all current jobs and create new jobs, ideating spurring economic growth, within the order.
In a state of nearly 40 million people, Newsom announced the order will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35% in the nations most populous state.
“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” said Newsom in a press release. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. You deserve to have a car that doesn’t give your kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse – and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”
Transportation is responsible for more than 50% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions.
80% of smog-forming pollution.
And 95% of toxic diesel emissions.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 23, 2020
“California will be leading the nation in this effort — joining 15 other countries that have committed to phasing out gasoline-powered cars. We will use our market power to push zero-emission vehicle innovation and drive down costs for everyone,” tweeted Newsom.
During Wednesday’s press conference, reporters asked Newsom about the affordability of electric cars.
“By the time the new rule goes into effect, zero-emission vehicles will almost certainly be cheaper and better than the traditional fossil fuel-powered cars. The upfront cost of electric vehicles are projected to reach parity with conventional vehicles in just a matter of years, and the cost of owning the car – both in maintenance and how much it costs to power the car mile for mile – is far less than a fossil fuel burning vehicle.” Noted in the Office of Governor Newsom’s press release.
In addition to banning cars and trucks by 2035, “The Air Resources Board will develop regulations to mandate that all operations of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles shall be 100 percent zero-emission by 2045 where feasible, with the mandate going into effect by 2035 for drayage trucks.”
The executive order comes as historic wildfires have burned a record 3.6 million miles in California this year. Experts say the fires are aided by warmer temperatures and years of drought brought on by climate change.
Addressing climate change, Newsom said, “I don’t know of any other state in this country that’s been more forceful and forthright in establishing and anchoring a consciousness around climate change…We just want to fundamentally reconcile the fact we’re no longer living in the 19th century, and we don’t need to drill things or extract things in order to advance our economic goals and advance our mobility needs.”
Watch Governor Newsom’s full press conference here.