(KTLA) – California’s Air Resources Board is expected to vote Thursday to approve a plan that will ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in the state by 2035.
The proposal, “Advanced Clean Cars II,” aims to have 35% of new vehicles sold in 2026 be zero-emission, with increasing percentages each year. A full ban on new sales of gas-powered vehicles in California would be enacted in 2035.
“This is going to do a lot to clean up the air in California and to fight the crisis that we have of air pollution and climate change,” Bill Magavern with Coalition for Clean Air told KTLA’s sister station, Sacramento’s KTXL, Wednesday.
The regulation will help California meet clean air standards by cutting emissions, resulting in a 25% reduction in smog-forming emissions from passenger vehicles by 2037.
The new regulation only applies to new car sales and does not impact existing gas-powered cars and light trucks, which will still be legal to own and drive beyond 2035.
The proposal also calls for requirements for warranties, durability, streamlined fast-charging, capable charging cords, repair information, and battery range.
“A lot of people have range anxiety. They’re always worried they’re going to run out of charge, but there are so many chargers around the country. And you hit a button in your car and it tells you where the next charging station is and it’ll take you right there,” said Eileen Yurek, an electric vehicle owner.
The Advanced Clean Cars 2 regulation also offers incentives to manufacturers to build low-cost electric vehicles to make them more affordable.
“It’s easy for people that have enough wealth, but we need for this revolution to make its way to everybody and to give clean mobility for all Californians,” Magavern said.
California already has the nation’s largest electric vehicle market in the country with over 1.1 million vehicles registered. That comprises 43% of the nation’s plug-in vehicles.
“They’ll love them. It’s like sitting in your armchair at home; it really is. They’ll really love their cars,” Yurek said.
If Advanced Clean Cars 2 is approved, it will then go to the federal Environmental Protection Agency for its approval.
California climate officials say the state’s new policy will be the world’s most ambitious because it sets clear benchmarks for ramping up electric vehicle sales over the next dozen years.
The European Parliament in June backed a plan to effectively prohibit the sale of gas and diesel cars in the 27-nation bloc by 2035, and Canada has mandated the sale of zero-emission cars by the same year. The Chinese province of Hainan said this week it would do the same by 2030.
In the U.S., Massachusetts, Washington and New York are among states that have set goals to transform their car markets or have already committed to following California’s new rules.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.