California on Wednesday made public an aggressive plan to mandate a steady increase in the sale of electric and zero-emissions vehicles, the first step in enacting a first-in-the-nation goal of banning new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.
Under the proposed rule, issued by the California Air Resources Board, the state will require 35 percent of new passenger vehicles sold in the state by 2026 to be powered by batteries or hydrogen. Less than a decade later, the state expects 100 percent of all new car sales to be free of the fossil fuel emissions chiefly responsible for warming the planet.
Currently, 12.4 percent of new vehicles sold in California are zero-emissions, according to the board.
If the board finalizes the plan in August, it could set the bar for the nation’s automobile industry. California is the largest auto market in the United States and the 10th largest in the world. In addition, 15 other states — including New York, Massachusetts and North Carolina — have previously followed California’s moves regarding tailpipe emissions and may adopt similar proposals.
I hope the board finalizes the plan in August.