SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 23 announced he will “aggressively” move the state further away from its reliance on fossil fuels, issuing an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035, along with additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector.
The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80% of smog-forming pollution and 95% of toxic diesel emissions, and communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley see some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in the country, according to a statement released by Newsom’s office.
“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Newsom said. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse — and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels, threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”
Following the Sept. 23 order, CARB will develop regulations to mandate that 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035, a target the board says would achieve more than a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80% improvement in oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars statewide.
Newsom’s order comes less than three months after the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted a rule requiring truck manufacturers to transition from diesel trucks and vans to electric zero-emission trucks where feasible, beginning in 2024 and culminating in 100% zero-emission trucks by 2045. The mandate will go into effect by 2035 for drayage trucks.
To ensure needed infrastructure to support zero-emission vehicles, state agencies, in partnership with the private sector, will be required to accelerate deployment of affordable fueling and charging options, as well as support of new and used zero-emission vehicle markets to provide broad accessibility to zero-emission vehicles for California residents. The executive order will not prevent Californians from owning gasoline-powered cars or selling them on the used-car market.
The executive order directs state agencies to develop strategies for an integrated, statewide rail and transit network, and incorporate safe and accessible infrastructure into projects to support bicycle and pedestrian options, particularly in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
To read the Sept. 23 executive order issued by Newsom, click here.