California Aims To Stop Sales Of New Gas-Powered Cars Starting In 2035

The state of California announced that they have set a goal to only sell new zero-emission passenger vehicles by 2035 and medium- to heavy-duty vehicles by 2045.

The cost of electronic vehicles has been decreasing, so Governor Newsom has forecast that electronic vehicles will be cheaper than conventional vehicles by the time they stop selling new gas-powered cars.

The motivation for this new executive order was to fight climate change and pollution.

Unsplash | Ella Ivanescu

Newsom said in a press release,

"For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse – and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines."

According to Gizmodo, transitioning to zero-emission vehicles should reduce carbon emissions by 35 percent.

Californians have faced the most destructive fires in their state's history.

Unsplash | Michael Held

Climate change can cause forest fires. Every 1.8°F rise in average temperature increases lightning strikes by 12%, which is a major cause of fires. California's average daily high temperature rose 3 to 4°F.

These new changes do not mean that gas-powered vehicles will be disappearing from the streets of California.


Those who already own gas-powered vehicles will still be allowed to drive and fuel them.

Similarly, Californians will still be able to sell their used gas-powered vehicles. The restrictions are strictly targeting the manufacture of new vehicles.

Reducing the manufacture of gas-powered vehicles supports the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative.


California, Oregon, and Washington have announced plans to develop an electric car corridor along the west coast. The plans include adding electric charging stations every 50 miles along Interstate 5, which runs along the coast, by the year 2025.

Not everyone agrees with the new goal to stop the sale of new gas-powered vehicles.

Unsplash | Sam Epodoi

In an interview with NPR, a spokesman from the Institute for Energy Research called the initiative "another silly distraction from real problems."

The Institute has also denied the link between fires and emissions from vehicles, and believes there is no need to remove gas-powered vehicles from the market.