California to Begin Phasing Out Gas-Powered Cars

Credit: AP

Newsom wants to go all-electric by 2035.

In a public announcement made on Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed the state’s intent to begin phasing out gas and diesel-powered cars. This isn’t going to be a short term plan; according to Newsom, California is shooting for all personal-use cars to be 100% emission-free by the year 2035, followed by medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045.

“Pull away from the gas pumps,” Newsom said. “Let us no longer be victims of geopolitical dictators that manipulate global supply chains and global markets.”

Newsom clarified that California residents will still be permitted to own gas-powered cars, as well as purchase them through used automobile channels. However, the sale of brand new gas-powered vehicles would be outright ended.

California currently has regulations in place that require a certain percentage of all cars sold in the state to be either electric or zero-emission. With this new plan, however, California has become the first US state to pledge toward completely phasing out fossil fuel, though not the first place in the world; numerous countries, including France, Germany, and Norway have already made gas-free pledges of their own.

Credit: Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP

As car exhaust is one of, if not the largest, causes of air pollution in the world, and California is one of the United States’ most populated areas, if a real zero-emission plan could be put into effect, the total greenhouse gasses produced by the US would drop by 35%. Newsom’s pledge has set several other long-term plans in motion in both the Californian economy and the automobile industry, as accommodating a gas-free plan will necessitate massive changes in state infrastructure. However, analysts believe the movement could still prove profitable for California in the end.

“This plan positions California to win a new generation of jobs building affordable zero-emission vehicles – jobs that Europe and China are also hoping to capture,” said Environmental Defense Fund head Fred Krupp.

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