California wants all new vehicles sold in the state to be EVs or PHEVs by 2035.
At least 12 other States have followed California’s lead.
The EPA will hold a hearing on whether to approve this plan.
When it announced its plan to ban sales of vehicles powered only by combustion engines on its territory starting in 2035, California became the first U.S. State to propose such a plan.
While this EV mandate has already been adopted by at least twelve other States around the country, it hasn’t yet received the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the federal body with the authority to make automakers comply to its rules.
This is why the EPA will hold a hearing next week on whether it should allow California to go ahead with this proposed mandate.
As a reminder, the State seeks to cut smog-causing emissions generated by light-duty vehicles by 25% by 2037. To do so, California wants to allow only the sale of new vehicles powered either by a fully electric or a plug-in hybrid drivetrain (including hydrogen power) starting in 2035.
Of course, this plan also provides a ramp-up period for the proportion of vehicles that need to be electrified, with 35% of the total sales in 2026, 68% in 2030, and 100% in 2035.
To prevent automakers from only adding a small rechargeable battery in their gas-guzzling models and calling it done, the rules will prevent plug-in hybrid models from making up more than 20% of an automaker’s total sales by 2035.
This plan is forecast to cost $210.35 billion through 2040, but the State says its benefits should total $301.41 billion.
Of course, this plan is not liked by everyone in Washington, with the Republican-led House of Representatives voting to prevent the EPA from imposing its own emissions rules. In addition, former President Donald Trump has said he will abolish EV rules and mandates if he gets re-elected in 2024.
The vote from the House of Representatives prompted the White House to threaten a veto of the proposal, despite the Biden administration not having committed to end sales of combustion-powered models at the federal scale.
As usual, the California proposition is more stringent than the proposed EPA rules for the same period, which currently call for 60% of automakers’ sales to come from electric vehicles by 2030, and 67% in 2032.
Since the EPA has federal jurisdiction, these rules would apply even to States that don’t have their own emissions rules or EV mandates.
Automakers have urged the administration to relax the requirements included in its proposal, which is due to be finalized in the coming months, citing lower EV sales, among other reasons.