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Is Mandating All Zero Emission Vehicles in California by 2035 a Fantasy?

The Air Resources Board is following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2020 order.

Ready to trade in your gas car for an electric vehicle? If you live in California, you may have to soon.

In 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order mandating all new vehicles sold in California must by 2035 be zero-emission vehicles – ZEVs. Now the unelected California Air Resources Board is issuing rules backing that order. That’s just 13 years away.

The Executive Board of the Democratic Party of California endorsed an even earlier date, 2030, just eight years away.

But could making California an all-electric vehicle haven be a fantasy? Even if Newsom is re-elected this November, he is term-limited and must leave office by January 2027. A new governor then might have different ideas.

Then there’s the reality on the ground – and in the parking lots. Those living in apartments and condo complexes could face challenges because few complexes have charging stations. Additionally, not all Californians can afford to buy all-electric vehicles like Teslas, especially if a recession is predicted later this year.

Even if the 100 percent ZEV goal is met by 2035, it will have little effect on greenhouse gases spewing into the atmosphere. China and India could face new scrutiny for their environmental impact. The hundreds of coal plants being constructed every year in China (1.4 billion people), India (1 billion), and other developing countries affect the environment globally.

California has historically been a leader in progressive legislation. Eventually, laws that California implements have made their way across the nation. The state hopes other states will adopt its new rules and legislation like they have in the past. But, only time will tell if other states will seek the same drastic measures on gas vehicle restrictions.


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