The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved Advanced Clean Cars II rule on Thursday making California the first state to prohibit sales of new gasoline-powered cars. The rule sets out a roadmap whereby 100% of new cars and light trucks sold in the state will be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), including plug-in hybrids.
The regulation codifies Governor Gavin Newsom’s light-duty vehicle goals set forth in Executive Order N-79-20 and requires automobile manufacturers to deliver an increasing number of ZEVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) each year beginning in 2026. Specifically, sales targets of new ZEVs and PHEVs are set at 35% in 2026, increasing to 68% in 2030 and ultimately 100% in 2035.
Noting that “Transportation is the single largest source of global warming emissions and air pollution” in California, CARB expects the regulation to deliver a 25% reduction in smog-causing pollution from light-duty vehicles. CARB Chair Liane Randolph highlighted that the regulation is rooted in environmental justice, adding:
Rapidly accelerating the number of ZEVs on our roads and highways will deliver substantial emission and pollution reductions to all Californians, especially for those who live near roadways and suffer from persistent air pollution…The regulation includes ground-breaking strategies to bring ZEVs to more communities and is supported by the Governor’s ZEV budget which provides incentives to make ZEVs available to the widest number of economic groups in California, including low- and moderate-income consumers.
Newsom has thus far proposed, and the legislature approved, $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2022-23 and $3.9 billion over three years for investment in ZEVs and clean mobility options for California’s “most environmentally and economically burdened communities.” The governor hopes to increase access to ZEVs for all Californians, including moderate and low-income consumers, through three separate programs: Clean Cars 4 All, Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, and Clean Vehicle Assistance Program. Each of these programs offer various incentives such as financial assistance for low-income drivers looking to scrap their older vehicles and down-payment assistance. The governor’s ZEV budget also includes $300 million for additional charging infrastructure aiming to help consumers who may not have a garage with an electric charging utility.
Highlighting the $10 billion investment in the state’s transition to ZEVs, “making it easier and cheaper for all Californians to purchase electric cars,” Newsom expressed confidence that “California will continue to lead the revolution towards our zero-emission transportation future.”