The sale of new gasoline vehicles will be prohibited by California air regulators by 2035, and they are anticipated to set intermediate goals to phase out the vehicles on Thursday.
According to board member Daniel Sperling, the California Air Resources Board will vote on the proposal Thursday afternoon.
Sperling declared that he was "99.9%" certain that the proposal would succeed. If so, it would be one of the first such restrictions ever enacted globally. Given the size of California's economy, it might also have a significant impact on the US auto industry.
This is significant, Sperling declared. This is the most significant action taken by CARB in the past 30 years; it has implications not only for California but also for the rest of the nation and the planet.
With a focus on new models, the board's new regulations would also establish interim quotas for zero-emission vehicles. 35% of new cars, SUVs, and compact pickups sold in California starting in 2026 must be zero-emission vehicles.
Every year, this quota would rise, eventually accounting for 51% of all new automobile sales in 2028, 68% in 2030, and 100% in 2035. The rules would also permit plug-in hybrids to make up 20% of sales of zero-emission vehicles.
Used cars might continue to be driven on the roads because the restrictions would not affect them.
According to Sperling, there was "very little dispute" and pushback from automakers during the rule-drafting process, indicating that the industry as a whole is supporting the transition to zero-emission vehicles. Ford and GM are two businesses that have already made ambitious plans to transition to zero-emission vehicles, trucks, and SUVs.
According to Sperling, "the car industry observes what's occurring in China and Europe." Many of them have already announced that they will switch entirely to electric vehicles.
Sperling and other officials are waiting to see if the Northeast and Pacific Northwest states, in particular, follow California's lead with the most recent change. Other blue states have previously followed California's lead on tighter auto emissions regulations.
According to Sperling, "This is a sizable portion of the US market." "A large portion of the country will be moving forward even if the feds don't move on a regulatory perspective."
The vote on Thursday is the result of years of preparation; California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order in 2020 requiring all vehicles sold in the state to be zero emission by 2035.
The Biden administration gave California a lift as well by restoring the state's long-standing authority to set its own auto pollution rules earlier this year. The California waiver had been reversed by the Trump administration in 2019.