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California Moves to Phase-In Sale of 100 Percent Zero-Emissions Vehicles by 2035
This week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to approve regulation proposed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to phase out the sale of gas- and diesel-powered cars as well as light trucks by 2035.


“This historic decision essentially phases out emissions from new passenger and light duty trucks by 2035,” added ATS member and physician member of the California Air Resources Board John Balmes MD. “That phase-out will not only have an important impact on climate change, it will also have significant public health co-benefits. The improved air quality in California will save lives and reduce health care utilization for respiratory and cardiovascular outcomes.”


Starting in 2026, the new policy will require that 35 percent of new cars and light trucks sold be zero-emission vehicles, phasing up to a 68 percent requirement in 2030 and 100 percent requirement by 2035. The policy covers the sale of new vehicles only. Further, the policy applies to automakers as a whole and does not apply to individual car dealerships.


Vehicles meeting the new requirements include plug-in hybrids, full battery-electric and hydrogen cell vehicles. Plug-in hybrid vehicles must have an all-electric range of at least 50 miles under typical driving conditions. Battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles must have a minimum range of 150 miles, include fast-charging capability, and meet new durability and warranty requirements.


Combustion engine cars and light trucks will continue to be legal to own and operate in California.


“I congratulate the state of California for its continued leadership in responding to air pollution and global climate change,” noted ATS President Gregory Downey, MD, ATSF. “For decades, California has led the nation in technology innovation and implementation to address air pollution and climate change. I encourage other states to adopt bold policy to reduce GHG emissions.”

Last Reviewed: August 2022