Gas Be Gone: California Working on Bill to Banish Internal Combustion Cars by 2040

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
gas be gone california working on bill to banish internal combustion cars by 2040

California Assemblyman Phil Ting, a Democrat chairing the chamber’s budget committee, says he intends to introduce a bill that would allow the state’s motor vehicle department to register only automobiles that emit no carbon dioxide, such as battery-electric vehicles or hydrogen fuel cell cars.

The proposed legislation would ultimately ban internal combustion engines, mimicking similar actions taken by France and the United Kingdom. Ting claims that, without a plan in place, California’s attempt to dramatically reduce greenhouse emissions by 2050 will prove ineffective.

“Until you set a deadline, nothing gets done,” Ting told Bloomberg in interview on Tuesday. “It’s responsible for us to set a deadline 23 years in advance.”

Ting says he’ll introduce the bill when lawmakers return to Sacramento next month for an upcoming legislative session, believing it’s important for the mitigation of transportation-related pollution — which surpassed power plants as the biggest source of CO2 emissions in 2016. However, that could change back once a large percentage of automobiles use them to charge up every single night.

Cars are only a portion of the transportation emissions problem, though. Cruising alone is possibly the least efficient way to traverse the globe, but research has shown that taking a couple passengers in an economical gas-burning sedan is less dirty than taking a fully booked plane or half-occupied bus. Tossing in cargo ships that burn heavy marine fuel only complicates things further, as large ships are now believed to pollute far worse than the sum of the world’s cars.

Still, it’s automobiles that are facing the strictest regulations, and internal combustion cars have been in California’s crosshairs for some time. In April of 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown announced the importance of imposing fuel economy mandates by saying, “If the federal government can’t get it right, we in California are going to take care of business.”

In September of 2017, Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, said Brown was pressing her to move forward with an internal combustion ban. “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California,” she explained.

“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 continued. “We’re looking at that as a method of moving this discussion forward.”

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  • Hpycamper Hpycamper on Dec 06, 2017

    So much negativity. We are becoming a less civilized society.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Dec 07, 2017

      This comment is worth a Bitcoin. Spot on, I've been saying it for years: devolution.

  • Chuckrs Chuckrs on Dec 06, 2017

    Barring a miracle breakthrough, battery technology will continue to lurch ahead. It's not hard to find announcements about miracle breakthroughs in lab demonstrations. Maybe one or more will be the miracle we are looking for, on a manufacturing scale. I'm a little more concerned about the chargers. To get the energy into the batteries as fast as we impatient people like, we are heading towards industrial voltages and amperage. Search on arc flashover - there are some gruesome videos of arc shorts creating a gas plasma at temperatures up to 35,000F or 20,000C, plus an explosion. As greater numbers of fast chargers are deployed and larger numbers of Average Joes/Janes use them on aging EVs or those with a design/manufacturing flaw, are we going to see a flashover accident on national news?

    • See 1 previous
    • Chuckrs Chuckrs on Dec 07, 2017

      @Jack Denver The issue is tracking down all the potential failure modes in the charging system. High voltage seems to have a way of finding ground. People still get burned in ICE cars despite a century plus of design experience. The point is not to get all Luddite about EVs but to be respectful of the energy involved. AFAIK, there has been only one fatality - a electrical contractor who made a misstep installing a charging station. That may or may not be a high number statistically.

  • Bullnuke Chief Transition Officer, eh? And the term "Lean Manufacturing" being spoken... Is that the sound of the headsman's axe being ground sharp that I hear in the background? Brings back memories of the late '00s at my old OEM coatings plant.
  • BEPLA At the right price, would be a great EV conversion candidate.
  • BEPLA In other news: It costs more to eat out than to eat at home.
  • Kwik_Shift I like, because I don't have to look at them. Just by feel and location while driving.
  • Dwford This is the last time we are making these, so you better hurry up and buy (until the next time we make them, that is)