On Thursday, California state regulators are expected to approve a long-anticipated ban on the production of new gasoline-powered vehicles, which is part of a statewide plan to stop the sale of all new gas-powered cars by 2035.

 

This initiative was first announced by Gov Gavin Newson (D., Calif.) in 2020 with the overarching intent to reduce the heavy pollution that has caused his state to have the worst air quality in the U.S.

Should this goal be met, California will be the first in the world to mandate zero-emission vehicles.

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In 2021, only 12% of new cars sold in the state were zero-emission, according to the California Air Resources Board (Carb). This new plan would require that, by 2026, 35% of new vehicles must produce zero emissions, then 68% by 2030, and, finally, 100% by 2035.

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California automakers, while reportedly giving “surprisingly little debate” and resistance to this initiative, have expressed some apprehension about the plan’s feasibility. Some have said that the state officials must first focus more attention on providing sufficient infrastructure for EV charging stations, and must obtain a better understanding of how the minerals necessary for lithium battery production will be mined.

John Bozzella, the president of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, said that this plan for eliminating gas-powered vehicles is easier said than done, reporting that meeting the regulations for producing new EVs in California is “extremely challenging.” Bozzella explained that the ban will “require increased infrastructure, incentives, fleet requirements, building codes, and much more.”

“Whether or not these requirements are realistic or achievable is directly related to external factors such as inflation, charging and fuel infrastructure, supply chains, labor force, critical mineral availability and pricing, and ongoing semiconductor shortages,” Bozzella told the New York Times.

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