California state capitol, Sacramento
A California lawmaker has submitted a bill that will ban the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles in the state starting in 2040.
Assemblymember Phil Ting, a Democrat representing much of the Bay Area, introduced the bill on Wednesday, when lawmakers returned for the new legislative session in Sacramento.
The bill, known by its docket number of AB 1745, is entitled simply "The Clean Cars Act 2040."
“Until you set a deadline, nothing gets done,” Ting said in December. “It’s responsible for us to set a deadline 23 years in advance.”
According to Bloomberg, Ting wants California to catch up to the United Kingdom and France, both of which have committed to aggressively reducing carbon emissions by banning fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040.
Norway and the Netherlands have similar goals for 2025 and 2030 respectively.
Groundbreaking at new California Air Resources Board headquarters, Riverside, CA, Oct 2017
The bill—which supports the state's goal of cutting emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050—would restrict the state's department of motor vehicles from registering new vehicles that emit carbon dioxide.
That would indicate that only battery-electric and hydrogen vehicles will be legal to register in the state after that date.
Transportation accounts for roughly 40 percent of California's total emissions of carbon dioxide, a higher percentage than in the U.S. as a whole.
A ban on new fossil-fueled vehicles would be a first in North America, keeping California at the forefront of clean transportation as it has been since the 1960s.
Automakers have openly opposed the ban of fossil-fuel vehicles in California, suggesting consumers will not be able to afford the zero-emission vehicles of more than 20 years from now.
In response, Ting told Bloomberg he's also working to overhaul the state's rebate program to make electric vehicles more affordable.
Chrome exhaust pipe
At least one environmental group suggested that a more urgent schedule was required.
“We applaud the effort to drive California toward a clean transportation future, and it needs to happen a lot sooner than 2040,” said Brian Nowicki, the Center for Biological Diversity's climate-policy director, in a statement.
“The climate emergency demands we shake our fossil fuel car addiction in the next few years, not decades."
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story, previewing the expected legislation, was originally published on December 8, 2017. We have updated it to reflect the introduction of the bill on January 3, 2018.