What You Need to Know About California’s Coming Gasoline Vehicle Ban

Is the Golden State putting our competition to shame?


What comes next after California revealed its intention to outlaw the sale of brand-new gas-only vehicles and light trucks? You may have inquiries.


What other states will do the same? Even though I don’t need a new gas-powered car just yet, should I get one now? How much will automobiles cost?


We have solutions!


Not for everything; the Advanced Clean Cars II measure still needs some final wording to be worked out. However, here is what is known about how it will probably impact automobile buyers in the future, both inside and outside of California.


The prohibition begins when?


In calendar year 2035, the total ban—no new gas-only cars at dealerships—comes into force. But starting in 2026, it is implemented gradually over a ten-year period.


In California, EV sales currently make up roughly 16% of total sales of new cars. According to the new regulation, by 2026, at least 35% of new passenger cars and light trucks sold at state dealerships must be electric.


Every year after 2027, the proportion increases: 43% in 2027, 51% in 2028, 59% in 2029, 68% in 2030, 76% in 2031, 82% in 2032, 88% in 2033, 94% in 2034, and 100% in 2035.


Why is the qualification “gas-only”?


Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) potentially make up as much as 20% of new light vehicle sales even during the period while the ban is in effect. These vehicles come equipped with both electric and gas engines. This implies that beyond 2035, one in five new cars manufactured in California and other places with gas bans might still be running on gasoline.


But PHEVs will need to be more efficient and cleaner than they are now. They will need to produce at least 50 miles of all-electric range, among other new requirements. Currently leading that class is the Toyota RAV4 Prime, which has an all-electric range of 42 miles.


Does the prohibition apply outside of California?


Not quite yet. However, 17 other states have incorporated all or a portion of California’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) laws and vehicle emissions requirements, and they are all free to include the gas ban in their own regulations. As stated by Washington, Oregon, New York, and Massachusetts, nearly all of the so-called ZEV states are expected to eventually follow suit, according to most analysts.


This is significant because the ZEV states collectively sell over 40% of all new passenger cars sold in the United States. When they work together, they can have a significant impact on automakers.


Another, more significant effect might be that automakers won’t want to produce different types of vehicles for the “gas-ban” states and the rest of the nation. Federal regulators have absorbed numerous California regulations into national policies ever since Congress granted California the authority to create its own, more stringent pollution requirements than those set by the federal government in the 1970 Clean Air Act.


Does this imply that drivers in California will have to give up their gas-powered cars?


One of the various all-electric car alternatives available today is the Hyundai Ioniq 5.


Not exactly. Only new gas-only model dealership sales are prohibited by California’s ban.


Used vehicles and trucks are freely sold, and new gas vehicles bought in other states may still be registered in California unless a specific regulation is in place. However, if they are not certified to meet whatever California emissions regulations are in effect at the time, they will need to have at least 7,500 miles on the odometer.

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