The states of Washington and Massachusetts had trigger laws on the books that were to be enacted automatically if the California Air Resources Board banned the sale of new gas-powered cars.
On Thursday, that’s precisely what happened. The CARB adopted a new set of rules requiring 35 percent of all new cars sold in California to be either electric or plug-in hybrids by 2026. That will ramp up to 68 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2035.
Subsequently, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that his state would join California in phasing out all sales of new gasoline- and diesel-powered cars, according to Fox Business.
“This is a critical milestone in our climate fight. Washington set in law a goal for all new car sales to be zero emissions by 2030 and we’re ready to adopt California’s regs by end of this year,” Inslee tweeted.
We look forward to partnering with California and the Biden Administration to quickly eliminate our country’s #1 source of GHG emissions.
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) August 24, 2022
According to Fox, Washington has over 100,000 electric vehicles registered, making it one of the states with the most EVs per capita. But EVs still only accounted for about 8 percent of new car registrations in July.
Republican state Rep. Andy Barkis criticized the move to ban gas-powered vehicles.
“I believe the market is best to continue to determine how we transition,” he said.
The Sacramento Bee reported that in California, there are concerns that the shift to EVs could strain the state’s “fragile power grid.”
“The Western States Petroleum Association said ‘electrification of the transportation sector will increase demand by around 300,000 gigawatt-hours statewide,’ which would amount to doubling electricity demands” on the heels of rolling blackouts in August 2020 and near blackouts in July 2021.
California officials have claimed that EV charging will add “only a small amount of demand onto the grid” and that vehicle-related demand is projected to make up less than 3 percent of peak-hour energy use in 2030.
Energy Commission Chairman David Hochschild said in a statement, “The Energy Commission is working to support this vision by preparing to deploy nearly $4 billion in EV infrastructure while optimizing charging to help the electric grid.”
In his own statement, Gov. Gavin Newsom said, “With the historic $10 billion we’re investing to accelerate the transition to [zero-emission vehicles], we’re making it easier and cheaper for all Californians to purchase electric cars. California will continue to lead the revolution towards our zero-emission transportation future.”
Fox reported that the CARB ruling still needs federal approval to move forward. Washington and Massachusetts will also have to codify the regulations prior to enforcement.
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington, D.C., all follow CARB rules on car emissions as well. However, they have made no announcements that they will follow Sacramento’s lead.
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