California Bans The Sale Of New Gasoline Powered Vehicles By 2035: Other State Might Join
California Governor Gavin Newsome issued an executive order last week to ban the sale of new gasoline powered vehicles in the state by 2035. The ban follows the June 2020 announcement by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requiring all commercial trucks and vans to be zero emission by 2045.
California is unique among all States in having a federal waiver that allows it to set its own, stricter emissions standards.
The California ban is important to fuel marketers because under Section 177 of the Clean Air, any state can adopt California clean air standards.
So far, 12 States have adopted California’s zero emission standard for passenger vehicles including: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
Fifteen states have adopted the zero-emission standards for commercial trucks and vans including: California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
It is likely that some of these states could also adopt the ban on gasoline powered vehicles.
PMAA member association, the California Fuels and Convenience Alliance (CFCA), issued this statement, “This order not only represents an egregious transgression of the legislative process, but also an outright disregard for the millions of Californians struggling to just get by in today’s most taxing of circumstances. As Californians continue to be barraged by an endless wave of public service announcements urging stark energy conservation for fear of rolling blackouts, the timing for announcing the greatest additional stress to our grid in history could not be worse.”
The Trump administration revoked California’s special waiver status earlier this year. California filed suit in federal court to maintain its unique clean air standard setting waiver. The waiver will remain in place until the federal court rules on the case which is not expected until after the November Presidential election.
In response to the latest California Governor’s executive order, the Transportation Fairness Alliance (TFA) released the following statement, “California’s proposal to ban traditional vehicles by 2035 fails to acknowledge the significant emissions progress that continues to be made across all vehicle platforms, including those with internal combustion engines — the vehicles preferred by more than 95% of U.S. consumers. California should recognize this preference and acknowledge this proposal is not the most efficient or consumer-oriented means of reducing emissions.”
Unfortunately, California fails to report that there is no such thing as a “zero emission” vehicle. While EVs do not have tailpipe emissions, they are charged using electricity generated at local power plants, which do produce emissions.
Furthermore, manufacturing the battery for an EV requires tremendous amounts of energy, and EV battery recycling is tedious and difficult. Without the ability to be recycled, EV batteries risk offsetting any environmental benefits by contributing more waste.
The bottom line is that a vehicle’s total emissions should account for its entire life cycle: production and resourcing, lifetime usage, and end-of-life disposal after use. The EV market remains small as the majority of consumers still opt for gasoline powered vehicles when given a choice.