A new bill in the California state Legislature would prohibit the sale of any internal combustion engine automobiles in California after 2040.
The bill, known as Assembly Bill 1745 or the Clean Cars 2040 Act, proposes that all vehicles sold in the state from 2040 must be zero-emission vehicles, meaning plug-in hybrids would also be banned.
The measure from Assemblyman Phil Ting would only allow zero-emission vehicles to be sold after Jan. 1, 2040. The bill would not apply to large commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more or cars owned by people moving into California from other states.
“California has long led the nation in promoting environmental protection and public health through visionary policies and technological innovations,” Ting said. “It’s time that we clear the path for emissions-free transportation and take significant steps to achieve our ambitious emissions reduction goals.”
“Dirty vehicles are the largest source of carbon emissions in California –polluting the air and water for millions across the state– so we must take action to accelerate the transition to 100 percent clean vehicles, said Ting.
The state is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. Key to reaching that goal is limiting pollution from cars — nearly 5 million zero-emission cars will be needed on the roads by that time, Ting’s office said in a statement.
If the bill were to pass, California would follow the Netherlands, Norway, France, the United Kingdom, India, and China in banning the sale of new cars powered by fossil fuels. The United Kingdom and France have recently announced plans to phase out gasoline and diesel powered cars by 2040. Norway has plans to ban the sale of fossil fueled vehicles by 2025, and has seen the rise of EV use, which now represents 37% of the country’s car market. China hasn't revealed a set date for its ban to take effect, but it floated 2040 as a potential start date.
The potential for California to follow the Asian and European countries would have just as much of an impact, too. At 20 million new cars sold in 2016, more cars are sold in California than any other state. In fact, more cars are sold in the state than in some major countries such as France.
There are currently 300,000 zero-emission vehicles in California, according to Ting’s office.