In the Golden State, they’re planning on getting rid of new gasoline cars in 23 years.
That’s right. In California, where no idea is too zany, they’re putting together legislation that would ban gasoline-powered cars by 2040. So far, China, France, and the United Kingdom are all considering similar legislation.
California Assemblyman Phil Ting (a Democrat, of course) is behind the measure. He’s chairman of the chamber’s budget committee and said he plans to introduce a bill that, starting in 2040, would allow the state’s motor vehicles department to register only “clean” vehicles that emit no carbon dioxide, such as battery-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars.
In a phone interview with Bloomberg, Ting, who represents much of San Francisco (shocker!) said that “until you set a deadline, nothing gets done. It’s responsible for us to set a deadline 23 years in advance.”
He said he will introduce a bill when they return to the state capitol in Sacramento next month for the legislative session. If adopted, it would eliminate a huge chunk of carbon emissions from the transportation sector — now the top source of the greenhouse gas in the U.S. — as part of the state’s quest to slash emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.
Ting isn’t the first official from the state with the largest market for new vehicle sales in the U.S. to openly consider a ban on internal-combustion engines. The topic has been discussed at the California Air Resources Board, the state’s powerful air quality regulator, after Governor Jerry Brown showed interest in similar moves by other countries, including China.
“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’” CARB Chairman Mary Nichols said in September, referring to China’s planned phase-out of fossil-fuel vehicle sales. “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California.”
China, the world’s largest car market, is working on a plan to ban the production and sale of vehicles powered only by fossil fuels.
It has plenty of company: India, France, Britain, and Norway also want to ditch gas and diesel cars in favor of cleaner vehicles.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has hinted that it’s only a matter of time before the country that invented the modern car sets an expiration date of its own.
Other countries have plans in place to increase electric car sales, including India, Denmark, Ireland, Austria, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Korea, and Spain.
There are no standards set in the United States, but California and seven other states have set targets.
Globally, 95% of electric cars are sold in only 10 countries: China, the U.S., Japan, Canada, Norway, the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
What do you think? Are government mandates the solution to the problem? Do we need more laws to push electric vehicles over the top, or will they become the primary source of transportation eventually anyway? Do you own an electric vehicle? Would you ever buy one? Why or why not? Sound off below and let us know what you think!