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California’s new bill would ban the sale of cars that run on fossil fuels
Written By: Jen Neville
January 24, 2018
Governor Brown set a goal for California to have 1.5 million zero emissions vehicles on the road by 2025, and our state’s climate change prevention policies project the need for 5 million zero emissions vehicles by 2030. Introduced today by Assembly member Phil Ting, AB 1745, the Clean Cars 2040 Act, will set the next critical goal for California by requiring all new passenger vehicles sold after January 1, 2040 to be zero emissions.
Assembly member Ting commented, "California has long led the nation in promoting environmental protection and public health through visionary policies and technological innovations. It’s time that we clear the path for emissions-free transportation and take significant steps to achieve our ambitious emissions reduction goals. AB 1745 does just that by requiring that all new cars registered in the State of California –after January 1, 2040 – be zero emissions vehicles. We’re at an inflection point: we’ve got to address the harmful emissions that cause climate change. Achieving the goal of electrification of transportation is crucial for the health of our people and the planet. Vehicles run on fossil fuels are responsible for nearly 40 percent of California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By spurring the use of zero emissions vehicles, we’re creating a mechanism to ensure a healthier future for Californians, and the entire region."
"If we want to seriously combat climate change, protect our clean air and water, and ensure a just transition to clean energy, we need to invest in clean, zero emission transportation,” noted NextGen America President Tom Steyer, a supporter of Clean Cars 2040. “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. Now more than ever, this legislation is needed to protect Californians' health, create good-paying clean energy jobs, and reinforce our state's role as a global climate leader.”
“Reducing fossil fuels emissions should be California's highest priority,” added Adrian Martinez, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice. “With this legislation, California will be taking combustion polluting vehicles off the road and advancing zero emission vehicles – helping us to finally address air pollution and better equipping us to combat climate change. I urge our State's leaders to pass this important legislation.”
“Clean Cars 2040 will help ensure that our communities reap the myriad benefits of zero emission vehicles,” said Eddie Ahn, Executive Director of Brightline Defense, a public policy organization dedicated to environmental justice issues. “Greater use of electric vehicles provides us with a tremendous opportunity to decrease air pollution and combat climate change that disproportionately affect low-income and underserved communities.”
“Over-reliance on fossil fuels in transportation damages the air, our health, the environment, our society and our economy,” noted Ting. “The transition to zero emission vehicles is underway, promising myriad health, environmental and economic benefits. Clean Cars 2040 is a powerful policy initiative that’ll set us on the correct course for achieving clean air and climate targets that prioritize public health.”
As introduced, AB 1745 requires all new passenger vehicles to be zero emissions vehicles after January 1, 2040. For the purposes of the bill, zero emissions vehicles cannot produce exhaust emissions of any criteria pollutant or greenhouse gas under any operational mode or condition. The bill does not apply to large commercial vehicles (larger than 10,000 pounds) and does not apply to vehicles owned by people moving into California from other states.
California has set ambitious goals to reduce GHG emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. There are nearly 300,000 EVs on California roads today. In 2016, approximately 2.09 million new cars were sold in California, and 1.9 percent were EVs. Over 20 EVs are now on the market in subcompact, hatchback, sedan, luxury, and SUV/minivan models.
Transportation is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas pollution, surpassing power plants this year for the first time in four decades, according to the Energy Information Administration. Electricity production has been moving toward “clean” energy over coal in recent years, but the transport sector hasn’t made as many advances in reducing emissions.