Interim targets want 35% of all new cars sold in the State by 2026 to be EVs, up from 12% currently
California is the largest auto market in the US and many other states follow its lead in terms of environmental policies
At the Federal Level, the average fuel economy of every manufacturer’s lineup will have to be 55 mpg by 2026
The state of California will soon sign into law a mandate that will prohibit the sale of new vehicles powered by gasoline engines on its territory starting in 2035.
This is the first time a US state has imposed a cut-off on the sales of combustion-engined vehicles and it follows the recent laws adopted by the European Union that also call for a 2035 ban.
California has been able to set its own environmental protection standards independently of the rest of the United States since the 1970s, except for a few years after the Trump administration revoked the State’s privilege.
This is important since California is the largest auto market in the United States and many states chose to follow its lead in setting their environmental protection goals.
If those states choose to also ban combustion-powered vehicles, this could mean up to a third of the entire US car market would be reserved for electric vehicles.
In order to make the transition smoother, the mandate requires that 35% of the new vehicles sold in the state be emissions-free by 2026 and 68% by 2030, up from only 12% at the moment.
At the federal level, the government has increased its fuel efficiency targets which now require the average fuel economy of every manufacturer’s fleet to be 55 miles per gallon (around 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres) by 2026, a significant increase over today’s target of under 40 mpg.
In addition, the president signed a bill that aims to make half of all new vehicles sold in the US electric vehicles by 2030 instead of only 6% of the total sold currently.
Unlike the California mandate, these targets are not legally binding, which means that automakers can continue to sell their vehicles even if they don’t meet them.
Of course, such a mandate is subject to opposition, both by automakers and by republican-led states, 17 of which are suing to have California’s waiver revoked again.
Automakers say the possibility of achieving complete electrification of their lineup by 2035 is heavily dependent on external factors that are out of their power, such as component shortages, inflation, charging infrastructure, global events, labour, and mineral availability.