California Plans to Pull the Plug on Gas Vehicles

Sales of new gas-powered cars to end by 2035
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 24, 2020 3:43 AM CDT
California to Ban New Gas-Powered Cars by 2035
On the hood of an electric car, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs an executive order requiring all new passenger vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2035 after a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, at Cal Expo in Sacramento.   (Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool)

California will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks in 15 years, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday, establishing a timeline in the nation's most populous state that could force US automakers to shift their zero-emission efforts into overdrive. The plan won't stop people from owning gas-powered cars or selling them on the used car market. But in 2035 it would end the sale of all new such vehicles in the state of nearly 40 million people, which accounts for more than one out of every 10 new cars sold in the US, the AP reports. California would be the first state with such a mandate while at least 15 other countries have already made similar commitments, including Germany, France, and Norway.

Newsom used the hood of a red, electric-powered Ford Mustang Mach-E to sign an executive order directing state regulators to develop new regulations to meet the deadline. He urged Californians to "pull away from the gas pumps" and encouraged other states to join California for the good of the environment and public health. While environmental groups cheered the announcement, the oil industry panned it and the automakers' industry group sought a middle ground, saying it's committed to increasing zero-emission vehicles but through cooperation among governments and businesses, not by mandates. Meanwhile, White House spokesman Judd Deere said flatly: “President Trump won’t stand for it.”

(More auto industry stories.)

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