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California bans sales of new gas-powered cars by 2035. Now the real work begins

California wants to drive a stake into the heart of gas-powered vehicles.

California refers to the 2035 mandate as covering "zero-emission vehicles" (ZEVs), however its fine print suggests this includes not only electric and hydrogen cars, but plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which can run on electric and petrol power.

State regulators approved a policy Thursday that will ban the sale of new gas cars by 2035 in what is the country's largest auto market.

Washington state will follow California and prohibit the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, Jay Inslee, the state governor, said.

California regulators on Thursday moved forward with a landmark plan to phase out the sale of gas cars over the next 13 years in the US’s largest auto market.

The first gateway is a "zero-emissions" (electric, PHEV and fuel-cell) requirement for 35 per cent of all new passenger vehicle sales by 2026, followed by 68 per cent in 2030 and 100 per cent in 2035.

The mandate doesn’t cover all of highway transportation, either. Heavy trucks that burn diesel fuel will have 10 extra years before they’re banned. A proposed zero-emission mandate for heavy trucks wouldn’t hit 100% until 2045.

According to air quality officials, the new regulations would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars by more than 50% by 2040, compared with if no action were taken. Tailpipe emissions are the leading source of carbon dioxide in California and accounted for about 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.


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