Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed an electric vehicle related executive order on Monday which will ban all sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars for passenger use in the state by 2035, effectively putting the auto industry on notice to clean up their act literally or get out of the state. This new law is set to supercharge the EV industry.
The move comes as California is currently experiencing historic wildfires that have ravaged close to 4 million acres or land just this year alone. Newsom has repeatedly proved that he has no time for climate change deniers and with this law he intends to move California towards a cleaner greener future with or without the federal government’s help. Whereas Republicans laughably continue to call for better forests management as a solution to the wildfires.
California holds the dual title of being the largest new car market in the U.S., with over 1.8 million vehicle sales in 2019, and also accounts for the most electric vehicle sales of any state in the U.S. That means what happens in California tends to set the tone and precedent for the rest of the country and the world for the auto industry.
With his new electric vehicle law in place, Newsom intends to drag the nation kicking and screaming into the future by taking meaningful action to combat climate change. The order directs the California Air Resources Board to come up with a phase-out plan that mandates a 100 percent zero-emissions personal use vehicles by 2035 and as many medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicle applications deemed feasible by 2045.
“Pull away from the gas pumps,” and “We are marking a new course,” Newsom said in a press conference in front of electric vehicles including a Tesla Model 3, the new Ford Mach E and the Audi E-Tron. “Let us no longer be victims of geopolitical dictators that manipulate global supply chains and global markets.”
The ban on ICE vehicles is sure to face massive opposition to the law from many sides including president Trump and Republicans in Washington, automakers and interest groups up and down the fossil fuel food chain as they recently did over the state’s stricter fuel economy rules. At the moment, the Trump administration is locked in a heated court battle with the state over whether it has the right to set it’s own stricter emissions standards which differ from that of the country as a whole.
Newsom claims that the California electric vehicle law will reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35%. But he emphasized that the benefits of the ban went beyond the environment, saying that EV’s are “the next big global industry and California wants to dominate it.” I personally agree with his assertion and that’s why I have only purchased hybrid and EV’s for the past decade.
Even the Ford Motor Company said it agreed with Newsom and that it was time to take meaningful action towards addressing climate change. Hence the Ford Mach E prominently featured in the background of Newsom’s press conference. However the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents Ford and most other automakers, said markets can’t be built with mandates and bans.
Not to be outdone, the oil and gas industry pulled no punches and instead threw shade at Newsom and his press conference. In particular, they dragged Newsom for holding a news conference in front of nearly $200,000 worth of electric cars “as he told Californians that their reliable and affordable cars and trucks would soon be unwelcome in our state.” Speaking of expensive EV’s, have you seen the Bentley Bentayga plug-in hybrid?
It would seem the oil and gas industry conveniently skipped the part of Newsom’s press conference where he clarified that the new electric vehicle law would not ban people from owning gas-powered vehicles, but rather it aims to end the sales of all new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks in about 15 years from now. “You can still keep your internal combustion car,” Newsom said. “You can still have a market for used cars.” That reminds me of when Obama said “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and we all know how that turned out.
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