California plans to require all new cars, trucks and SUVs to run on electricity or hydrogen by 2035 under a policy approved Thursday by regulators that seeks a dramatic cut in carbon emissions and an eventual end to gasoline-powered vehicles.
The decision by the California Air Resources Board came two years after Gov. Gavin Newsom first directed regulators to consider such a policy. If the goal is reached, California would cut emissions from cars in half by 2040.
The move gives the most populous U.S. state the world’s most stringent regulations for transitioning to electric vehicles. It is expected to prompt other states to follow California’s lead and to accelerate the production of zero-emission vehicles by automakers.
The policy still needs federal approval but that’s considered very likely under Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration.
“This is a historic moment for California, for our partner states, and for the world as we set forth this path toward a zero- emission future,” Liane Randolph, chair of the air board, said during a public hearing before the vote.
The policy allows Californians to keep driving gas-powered vehicles and buying used ones after 2035, but no new models would be sold in the state.
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