California is serious in battling pollution: new gas car sales to be banned, encourages EVs

California regulators have approved a plan to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 in a Thursday vote.

The California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) rules will go into effect at incremental levels in 2026 before building to a 100% ban of new gas car sales in 2035. The state’s move will likely affect the rest of the country since it sits as the largest automaker in the U.S.

“This is monumental,” CARB member Daniel Sperling told CNN. “This is the most important thing that CARB has done in the last 30 years. It’s important not just for California, but it’s important for the country and the world.”

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recommended the ban in April to accomplish Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s aim of decreasing emissions by stopping the sale of new gas automobiles by 2035.

“The climate crisis is solvable if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to stem the tide of carbon pollution,” Newsom said in a statement to The New York Times.

California’s proposal to ban the sale of gasoline-powered automobiles by the middle of the following decade includes interim goals. In accordance with the plan, California will mandate that 35% of newly sold vehicles produce zero emissions by 2026, followed by 68% of new cars by 2030, and eventually 100% of new automobiles by 2035. The measure will not affect used vehicles.

Experts also anticipate that the prohibition will hasten the transition to electric vehicles, a goal voiced by President Joe Biden in a 2016 executive order that urged the federal government to stimulate the sale of 50 percent electric vehicles by 2030. A week after Biden signed the greatest climate expenditure package in U.S. history, California enacted its ban.

Biden promoted the $370 billion in climate investment outlined in the Democrats’ “Inflation Reduction Act” as an incentive for Americans to purchase electric automobiles. Biden stated that the proposal will provide “tax credits to individuals who purchase new or used electric automobiles or fuel cell vehicles.”

“American auto companies, along with American labor, are committing their treasure and their talent — billions of dollars in investment — to make electric vehicles and battery and electric charging stations all across America, made in America,” the president added at the bill’s signing.

California is not the only state attempting to eliminate gasoline-powered automobiles. At least fifteen states, including New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont, are pursuing similar objectives based on California’s Low-Emission Vehicle standards.

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