California, a notoriously car-loving state, has voted. And the future is not gasoline. By 2035, the sale of new gas-powered cars will be forbidden.

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“This is the most important thing that California Air Resources Board (CARB) has done in the last 30 years. It’s important not just for California, but it’s important for the country and the world,” said Daniel Sperling, a member of the CARB, as reported by CNN.

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The new rules focus on new models. Used vehicles are exempt, at least for now. The board opted for setting interim quotas to achieve the goal. For example, in 2026, 35% of new car, small pickup and SUV sales will have to be zero-emission vehicles. Each year the quota will increase, probably surpassing the halfway mark for new car sales in 2028. By 2030, about 68% of new vehicle sales would be zero emissions, ramping up annually until California hits the 100% target in 2035. Twenty percent of the quota could be met by plug-in hybrids.

It goes to show that California is a trendsetting state. As goes California, so may go the world. Many other states have already followed California’s earlier regulations around zero-emission vehicles. Alex Stack, a spokesperson for California Governor Gavin Newsom, predicts the “majority of states to follow.” Oregon, Washington and New York are already planning a similar zero-emission target, according to CNN. These new regulations will affect the auto industry. Many car companies have already embraced the zero-emissions movement.

“This is a critical milestone in our climate fight, which is why Washington is poised to institute these same requirements by the end of the year,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee in a statement, as reported by CNN. “We look forward to partnering with other states and the Biden Administration to rapidly reduce the country’s primary source of greenhouse gas emissions.”


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