California to Require 100% Zero-Emission Vehicle Sales by 2035

CARB approves rule setting yearly targets for reducing carbon emissions
Photograph: Shutterstock

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has approved the Advanced Clean Cars II rule requiring 100% of new car, light truck and SUV sales in California to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035. It does not affect existing vehicles on the road today, which will still be legal to own and drive.

The regulation realizes and codifies the light-duty vehicle goals set out in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-79-20, issued in September 2020.

“We can solve this climate crisis if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to cut pollution. California now has a groundbreaking, world-leading plan to achieve 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035,” Newsom said. “This plan’s yearly targets–35% ZEV sales by 2026, 68% by 2030, and 100% by 2035–provide our roadmap to reducing dangerous carbon emissions and moving away from fossil fuels. That’s 915 million oil barrels’ worth of emissions that won’t pollute our communities.”

He added, “With the historic $10 billion we’re investing to accelerate the transition to ZEVs, we’re making it easier and cheaper for all Californians to purchase electric cars. California will continue to lead the revolution towards our zero-emission transportation future.”

CARB Chair Liane Randolph said the regulation “sets ambitious but achievable targets for ZEV sales.”

“Rapidly accelerating the number of ZEVs on our roads and highways will deliver substantial emission and pollution reductions to all Californians, especially for those who live near roadways and suffer from persistent air pollution,” he said. “The regulation includes groundbreaking strategies to bring ZEVs to more communities and is supported by the governor’s ZEV budget which provides incentives to make ZEVs available to the widest number of economic groups in California, including low- and moderate-income consumers.”

Newsom proposed, and the state legislature has approved $2.7 billion in fiscal year 2022-23, and $3.9 billion over three years, for investment in ZEV adoption, as well as clean mobility options for California’s most environmentally and economically burdened communities.

These programs support the new regulation by increasing access to ZEVs for all Californians, including moderate- and low-income consumers. They include:

The governor’s ZEV budget includes $400 million over three years for the statewide expansion of Clean Cars 4 All and for a suite of clean transportation equity projects. The budget also includes $525 million for the Clean Vehicles Rebate Project (CVRP). In addition, there is $300 million for more charging infrastructure, especially for those consumers who may not have a garage where they can charge their EV.

CARB expects other states to adopt these regulations through their own rulemakings, it said.

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