California state capitol, SacramentoEnlarge Photo
California, long a leader in emission reduction and electric-car incentives, may be ready to take the next big step: a full ban on the sale of new cars powered by gasoline or diesel.
Such a ban would follow India, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Norway, and others around the world with aggressive targets to reduce emissions and curb climate change.
A ban and subsequent plan to phase out fossil-fuel-powered cars in California would be the first of its kind not only in the United States, but in North America, too.
When the California state legislature returns in January 2018, Assemblyman Phil Ting plans to introduce a bill to put the gasoline and diesel ban in motion.
It would effectively ban the sale of any new vehicles powered by gasoline or diesel fuel by the year 2040, according to The Sacramento Bee.
The UK and France have also chosen 2040 as their implementation date for a fossil-fuel ban, while Norway and the Netherlands plan to implement their bans by 2025.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV added to Maven car- and ride-sharing fleet in Los Angeles, CaliforniaEnlarge Photo
“The market is moving this way. The entire world is moving this way,” Ting said. “At some point, you need to set a goal and put a line in the sand.”
California already set a goal to cut emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 and a ban on gasoline and diesel vehicles would help meet the state's targets.
Rising emissions from on-road transportation have made pollution reduction more difficult in California—more people are driving than ever.
Not only are more state residents driving, but fuel prices remain relatively low, and consumers have swayed towards larger utility vehicles.
Opponents to a ban like California will propose, such as The Association of Global Automakers, say consumers must be able to afford future electric vehicles.
Tesla destination charging station in Bodie, California [photo: George Parrott]
Tesla destination charging station in Bodie, California [photo: George Parrott]Enlarge Photo
Right now, electric-vehicle sales account for 5 percent of new car sales in California with just over 300,000 zero-emission cars on California roads.
To help with the affordability factor, Ting said he's working on an overhaul of the state's rebate program.
The overhaul would make more money available for rebates, but California would reduce the incentives as electric cars meet sales targets.
“California is used to being first. But we’re trying to catch up to this,” Ting said.
[hat tip: Larry Polyak]