Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday to halt sales of new gasoline-fueled vehicles by 2035, citing a zero-emissions route will slash greenhouse gas emissions by 35% amid California’s fight against climate change and record-breaking fire seasons.
The proposed rule directs the California Air Resources Board to create regulations mandating that all passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission 15 years from now, a move he said would also reduce nitrogen emissions by 80%. State agencies will also have to accelerate the deployment of affordable vehicle-charging stations as medium and heavy-duty vehicles shall be zero-emission by 2045 where feasible.
Statewide, the transportation sector accounts for more than half of all carbon pollution, 80% of smog-forming pollution and 95% of toxic diesel emissions, the governor said.
Newsom said the order will not prevent Californians from owning gasoline-powered cars or selling them on the used car market.
“We’re not taking anything away,” said Newsom during a state broadcast. “We’re providing an abundance of new choices and new technology, being agnostic about how we get to zero emissions, but being committed to getting to zero emissions by 2035.”
The move would mark California as the first state in the U.S. to phase out gasoline-powered cars, but would join 15 other countries, such as China, France and Germany, committed to doing the same.
Efforts to lead the state away from fossil fuels and toward relying on clean, renewable energy will create jobs and spur the economy, the governor said.
“We want more choice. We want cleaner air,” said Newsom. “We want to increase our manufacturing base and we want to increase our expertise. That’s what we think we are significantly advancing here.”
He also called on lawmakers to work on legislation next year that would end the issuance of new fracking permits by 2024.
His call for the ban comes as the California Air Resources Board has approved new regulations requiring truck manufacturers to transition to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024, as well as an agreement to accelerate the market for electric medium-and-heavy-duty vehicles.