By September 29, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

California considers ban on internal combustion engine vehicles

internal combustion engine

With over 2 million new passenger vehicles registered in California last year, a ban on internal combustion engine vehicles would make global automakers take notice. Shutterstock photo.

Earliest ban on internal combustion engine vehicles at least a decade away

California is considering a ban on internal combustion engine vehicles as officials in the Golden State look for ways to ensure cleaner air for the future, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board told Bloomberg that Governor Jerry Brown has shown interest in banning the sale of fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

Such a ban would not come into effect for at least 10 years, according to Nichols.

China recently announced it plans to ban the sale of all internal combustion engine powered vehicles by 2030.  France and the United Kingdom set 2040 as their end date for sales of fossil fuel-powered cars.

“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’” Nichols said. “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California.”

Should California make a declaration to end the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles, the global auto industry would take notice.  Over 2 million new passenger vehicles were registered in California last year, more than France, Italy or Spain.

Such a ban would force automakers to make electric vehicles the standard for personal transportation in the most populous state in the US.

The proposed ban also casts doubt on the future of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles elsewhere.

California has set an ambitious goal to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050.  However, increased emissions from on-road transportation has kneecapped the state’s efforts to reduce pollution, according to Next 10, a San Francisco-based non profit group.

“To reach the ambitious levels of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we have to pretty much replace all combustion with some form of renewable energy by 2040 or 2050,” Nichols told Bloomberg. “We’re looking at that as a method of moving this discussion forward.”

California is in a position to order such a ban because under the 1970 Clean Air Act, it has the authority to write its own pollution rules.  The rules are underpinned by waivers granted by the EPA.

Nichols says the state would likely not use an EPA waiver because the Trump administration would not likely approve one.  Instead, Nichols says the state could use vehicle registration rules or control the vehicles that can access state highways.

Any ban by the state is decades away from implementation.  Nichols says “There are people who believe, including who work for me, that you could stop all sales of new internal-combustion cars by 2030. Some people say 2035, some people say 2040.”  She added “It’s awfully hard to predict any of that with precision, but it doesn’t appear to be out of the question.”

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Posted in: USA

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