California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Wednesday to mandate that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.
The executive order states that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California must be zero-emission vehicles by 2035, while all medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold in California must be zero-emission vehicles by 2045 where possible. The order also called on the state to help the zero-emission vehicle industry grow as the state transitions away from fossil fuel-powered cars.
The California Air Resources Board will begin drafting regulations to support the transition, according to a press release from the office of the governor.
Though all new vehicle sales will need to be zero-emission vehicles, the order doesn’t restrict Californians from owning gasoline-powered cars. Californians can still sell or buy gasoline-powered cars on the used car market.
Zero-emission vehicles are expected to be less expensive than fossil fuel-powered vehicles by the time the new rule goes into effect, the press release said.
The initial cost of zero-emission vehicles is predicted to equal the upfront cost of traditional vehicles by the mid-2020s, according to a study conducted by BloombergNEF. Maintenance and fuel costs could also be cheaper than those of traditional vehicles, the study said.
At least 15 countries worldwide have already committed to prioritizing the production of zero-emission vehicles, but California will be the first state in the United States to take these steps to combat climate change, the press release said.
California’s transportation sector currently accounts for about 50% of the state’s carbon pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, 80% of smog pollution and 95% of toxic diesel emissions, according to the press release.
Newsom said in the press release that phasing out gasoline-powered vehicles was an impactful step in fighting climate change.
“For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe,” Newsom said. “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.”