The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom href = "https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/09/23/governor-newsom-announces-california-will-phase-out-gasoline-powered-cars-drastically- reduce-demand-for-fossil-fuels-in-California-fight-against-climate-change / "> passed a regulation on Wednesday that the sale of all new passenger cars must be emission-free by 2035.
The new order would be a huge boost for electric vehicles and vehicles that use alternative fuels like hydrogen, and could boost a sector that is already on the rise in California.
The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of California's total carbon pollution, 80 percent of smog-causing pollution, and 95 percent of toxic diesel emissions, according to an announcement by the California Governor.
"This is the most powerful step our state can take to combat climate change," said Governor Newsom in a statement. “For too many decades we've allowed cars to pollute the air our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn't have to worry if our cars give asthma to our children. Our cars shouldn't make forest fires worse – and should create more days with smoky air. Cars shouldn't melt glaciers or raise sea levels, which threatens our cherished beaches and coastlines. "
Once ordered, the California Air Resource Board will develop regulations that will require passenger cars and trucks to be sold 100 percent zero emissions by 2035.
Setting the target for 2035 would reduce greenhouse gases by more than 35 percent and improve nitrogen oxide emissions from cars by 80 percent.
The board will also develop regulations that require the operation of medium and heavy commercial vehicles to be emission-free by 2045, if possible.
The regulation requires government agencies, in partnership with the private sector, to accelerate the adoption of affordable refueling and charging options. According to a statement, the order also requires broad accessibility for emission-free vehicles.
What it doesn't require is that Californians who own gasoline-powered cars abandon them or deny car owners the ability to sell their gas-powered cars in the used car market.
With the initiative, California joins fifteen countries that, according to a statement, have already committed to phasing out gas-powered cars.
Built into the mandate is the assumption that zero-emission vehicles are cheaper and better than fossil-fuel cars, but there are significant hurdles – and opportunities – before the market gets there.
There will have to be a massive expansion of charging stations and filling stations for vehicles with electric and hydrogen drives. New charging technologies need to be introduced to enable faster charging, and new funding models need to be introduced to ensure the accessibility required by the California government.
All of these opportunities should have startups testing themselves and several companies like the new electric vehicle makers starting to compete with Tesla. The new charging technology developers and others will have Newsom to thank for the sudden surge in their ratings.