By on December 6, 2017

pumping-gas fuel

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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89 Comments on “Gas Be Gone: California Working on Bill to Banish Internal Combustion Cars by 2040...”


  • avatar
    jkross22

    This is what passes for public service in California.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Will celebrities arrive at the Oscars riding rickshaws? Being pulled by Lyft and Pull drivers?

  • avatar

    One more reason to hate California.

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      Countries and big cities are already doing this, most likely all the major manufacturers will be pure electric by then anyways.

      By the way, it’s not the State planning this, but one Assemblyman’s proposal so far. A few years ago, this would have been a simple stunt easily forgotten, but these days, its more likely to gain some steam.

    • 0 avatar
      volvo driver

      One more reason I love living in California. But hey if you don’t like it, stay the F out of my state.

      • 0 avatar
        Oberkanone

        10% of all vehicles sold in 2003 in CA were zero emissions vehicles.
        True or False

        In 1990 California legislated this requirement. It failed. How is this possible?

        Perhaps California could build coal burning powerplants and offer free electricity for vehicles in order to encourage consumers to adopt them.

        Or California could eliminate indoor Cannabis production. Which is responsible for 10% of all the household electric usage in CA and equals greenhouse emissions of 1 million automobiles.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        Consider it done. California has become an asylum run by the inmates. No one could pay me enough to live in that lunatic left-wing Communistic hellhole.

      • 0 avatar
        kosmo

        I try. Sadly, there is so much easy CA money to be made in my field due to the ludicrous amount of over-regulation, that I cannot say no.

        But I’m always glad to get on a jet at one of CA’s overcrowded airports and head back home when I’m done.

    • 0 avatar
      Dawnrazor

      Really no reason to “hate” anyone or anything; this pervasive lack of empathy and civility already has our culture in an ever-tightening stranglehold, and it will become the malignancy that eats us if we don’t find some common ground and figure out how to be nicer to each other!

      The rational answer is that CA faces a constellation of factors (topography, geography, climate, and population distribution for example) which render it uniquely susceptible to air (and water) quality problems, and mitigation requires a more aggressive approach than in other locations. It’s the extra payment demanded by mother nature in return for the unique splendor she provides! Besides, we all know that 2040 will end up being a moving target as the tech evolves; the objective is to get in front of the issue and avoid kicking the can down the road.

      I have had some seat time in several EVs at this point, and based upon my experiences I think the point will be moot by 2040 as the market will have shifted organically in that direction anyway; electrics will likely be so good that ICE-powered vehicles will be unnecessary except for hobby purposes. I love the sound of a v8 or 12 as much as anyone, but by that point it will seem as anachronistic as steam locomotives are today.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Well put.

      • 0 avatar
        Groovypippin

        ***applause*** Nuance, cogency and common sense on an automotive website message board. It’s a damn miracle.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I’m fine with being a hobbyist. I just don’t want my hobby outlawed.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        All fine and good, but California exports its pollution to other states. The “Four Corners” coal fired powerplant is a major supplier of electricity to Southern California Edison. Hydropower comes from Nevada and the Pacific Northwest. As has been emphatically emphasized when a new one is proposed, hydropower may not produce “greenhouse gases,” but it has other significant environmental impacts.
        Meanwhile, California is closing down its nukes — which, for all of their other faults, do not emit “greenhouse gases.”

        I would be willing to grant California more environmental cred if the state wasn’t exporting its environmental problems to other states.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Denver

          Most of California’s nukes were situated right on the beach – this way they didn’t have to pay for expensive cooling towers. It apparently never occurred to them that they could get washed out in a tsunami. Didn’t occur to the guys in Japan either and now they have a huge radioactive exclusion zone where no one will be able to live for centuries and countless billions of damages. Nuclear power is great but humans are too stupid and shortsighted to be trusted with it. Sooner or later some human is going to make a stupid decision and the thing will melt down one way or another.

          • 0 avatar
            AtoB

            “Nuclear power is great but humans are too stupid and shortsighted to be trusted with it. Sooner or later some human is going to make a stupid decision and the thing will melt down one way or another.”

            Even still as far as deaths/MW go nuclear is far ahead of the curve.

            https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/

            And those deaths are limited to old reactor designs. Modern reactors are much safer.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        just hold on a minute, partner.

        California has had all of these the entire time. Nobody forced them to develop the madness of streets and freeways they did.
        I visit LA about 3 times a year and used to live and work there. And the amount of SUVs cloggin the freeways is laughable.

        This is the same state that has water problems yet everybody hoses off their driveways.
        And BTW…if Mother Nature so loved Californians, you’s think she’d give them water for both drinking and fires.

        California is THE example of hipocracy. Do as we say, not as we do.

        The government would find it hard enough to predict the state’s survival financially by the year 2020 yet alone plan for 2040.

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    Well lets be honest, most companies are probably going to be going full electric by the next 23 years.

    Didn’t Volvo and some other companies already state that in the 5 years or so all their cars will be electric?

    23 year time line may actually be too conservative.

    • 0 avatar
      pinkslip

      Volvo promised all their vehicles would be either electric or gas/electric hybrid by their next milestone.

      The problem I see with the bill is that there will still be a ton of viable gas-powered transportation on the road by 2040. While I’m sure the rich will have exceptions for collector’s cars baked in, the average Joe still using his reliable MY2033 Toyota hybrid should not be forced to buy a new (to him) electric car until electric cars are essentially the only available option.

      Maybe a better timeline would be to prohibit the purchase of new gas-powered cars by 2040, while registering prior models will still be accepted until 2050. I feel like limiting the owner’s options before the OEM’s options is a bit backward.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “while registering prior models will still be accepted until 2050.”

        How about we just leave used cars alone?

        • 0 avatar
          pinkslip

          “How about we just leave used cars alone?”

          Because that doesn’t solve the problem. If you ban new sales of ICE cars without cutting off old cars, you create a situation like in Cuba- where people just keep their old cars on the road for as long as possible. This doesn’t address emissions and it simultaneously hurts state revenue from the taxes no longer collected from new car purchases.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “you create a situation like in Cuba- where people just keep their old cars on the road for as long as possible.”

            If a huge number of people would rather drive around in a 20+year old ICE vehicle than a brand new EV then that means there is a major problem with the EV offerings.

            Also, if people liked their ICE cars that much they wouldn’t vote people into the legislature that want to ban them.

          • 0 avatar
            2manycars

            Spoken like a true statist shill who wants not only every aspect of his own life regulated, but wants to forcibly impose his values on others at gunpoint.

            There is no “problem” to solve here other than those caused by a metastasizing, over-reaching government. Not to mention that it is not the obligation of the public to go out and buy new cars (or anything else) simply so they can be taxed to fill the treasury. What do you propose next, bulldozing people’s homes so they can be replaced with shiny new high-tech “green” homes that can bring in higher taxes? Your friend and mentor Joe Stalin would be proud.

          • 0 avatar
            volvo driver

            Fun fact: there were no taxes in the Soviet Union under Stalin. But hey, don’t let facts stand in the way of your BS rant.

      • 0 avatar
        SD 328I

        That’s highly likely. It wasn’t in the details, since this is just a proposal by one man, but it would have to grandfather in vehicles.

        The state can’t afford to lose registration fees on the majority of cars still on the road.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “Electric OR hybrid” is a radically different goal than “just electric”, though.

        I can believe “there will be within rounding error zero new non-hybrid-or-electric cars in 2050”, no problem – even if it’s just trivially-hybrid “so we can say it is” systems.

        I can’t believe “just electrics”, at all.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      There is a difference between every new vehicle for sale in 2040 being an EV and proposing that a state should *ban registration* of something like a ’79 Corvette that sees 2500 miles a year.

      Even the expected France, UK, and China ‘ICE bans’ aren’t touching used or classic vehicles AFAIK. They also aren’t total zero emission only bans as conventional hybrids would still be allowed for sale.

      • 0 avatar
        pinkslip

        “Even the expected France, UK, and China ‘ICE bans’ aren’t touching used or classic vehicles AFAIK.”

        I read that some of these places, like Paris, are already restricting older (1995?) models from entering the city limits Monday through Friday. So, yes, used ICE cars are being affected.

  • avatar
    stuki

    If I was an idiot, I could introduce a bill mandating perpetual motion by year 4000. Then all the other idiots could cheer for me and make me feel good. For being warm and fuzzy and, like, technologically sophistimecated. I’d be like AI. And radars. And Musk on Mars. And stuff.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    How is this going to work? Kalifornia will prohibit the internal combustion engine by driving all powered vehicles to electric, ok. Will Kalifornia also permit construction of power plants that will be needed to power the grid that will have be be used to supply electricity to all of the vehicles which may no-longer have an internal combustion engine? When was that last power plant, of any kind, given the green light by The West Coast People’s Republic?

    • 0 avatar
      Corollaman

      No No and NO

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      Initial proposal by one man, not that State.

      Also, California buys the most cars, manufacturers set their own manufacturing specs on emissions on what California does for the rest of the nation.

      Highly likely if any law does get off the ground, it will be changed a million times over by industrial lobbyist for manufacturers and companies who would lose or benefit from it.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      Two natural gas plant projects were approved in April, Huntington Beach and Alamitos.

      There are a couple of geothermal plant projects due to enter review soon.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      California: fracking is OK. ICE – not

      • 0 avatar
        carlisimo

        That’s on the same timeline: there’s a proposed bill to set a goal of 100% renewable power by 2045, and it’s further along in the legislative process than the ICE ban. I don’t think it’s quite realistic but it would have an effect on what kind of power plants we build in the next 30 years. Half our electricity is currently generated by natural gas, a little more during certain times.

        And as with car emissions, we’re stricter with fracking regulations then most of the country.

    • 0 avatar
      mtunofun

      There once was an old Duchess of Bray, and you may think it odd when I say, that in spite of high station, rank, and education, always spelled c***t with a ‘k’.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Good, that give Elon 23 years to get the bugs worked out of the Model 3 production.

  • avatar
    jdogma

    Lets continue to be honest and observe that there is no technology presently available to give the convenience of a modern IC car when it comes to traveling over 200 miles from home, and the infrastructure is far from being in place even if that were not the case. Being honest also involves pointing out that Volvo is now owned by a Chinese group that may see Volvo as a niche manufacturer.

    • 0 avatar
      pinkslip

      We’re talking about a timeline put in place for the year 2040 and you’re worried about today’s technology?

      I’m not a EV fanatic, but I do recognize that the technology has only relatively recently been taken seriously by most major OEMs. I’m sure the next 22 years will provide more significant improvements in EV tech than the previous 22 (including a charging network of some kind).

      And 200 miles each way (400+ round trip) doesn’t seem that far away to me. A Bolt and Model 3 can go over 200 miles one way right now, and they are contemporary $35k cars. If you want to see what technology will be on an average car in ten years, look at the top shelf models (S-Class, Model S, etc).

      Volvo has always been “niche”- it has always fought for a small slice of the luxury car segment. Fortunately, the industry overall seems to be changing their attitude/trajectory from decades past.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Teslas can be bought with 300+ mile range and the supercharger network is pretty good. The roadster will have 620 miles and use 300 to 400 kW chargers. Sure it’s a quarter of a million now, but the price for that range will come down. In twenty years, the technology will be much improved and cheaper.

        I think within 20 years, gas stations will start to disappear as EVs get more common. In 20 years, it will be ICE cars that have the range anxiety and infrastructure issues.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    I guess it really is time to buy that Charger SRT and go out with a bang..

  • avatar
    TMA1

    “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California”

    You don’t want an answer to that question. It’s a frightening thought that there are politicians out there who want us to live like the Chinese.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    The norm here is for something like this to get approved with major loopholes that reflect the reality of the market. For example, there’s already something in place saying that x% of vehicles sold have to be zero emission vehicles, but don’t take it literally. “Partial zero-emission vehicles” like hybrids and SULEVs (to a lesser extent) give you partial credit, and you can buy credits from manufacturers who build more EVs than their quota. You can count some percent of ZEVs sold in California towards NY’s ZEV quota. In the end, the fleet is cleaner than before and that’s what the authors wanted.

    In other words, expect a ‘soft’ ban.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    I sincerely hope there is a privision for registering classic cars or just your existing car. I can see a ban on brand new gas powered cars, but why should anyone give up their collection or beloved daily driver? I think they’ll end up revising that.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    There will be no California in 2040

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Yep – Perhaps “The Big One” will happen in the next 23 years and they will be an island unto themselves.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Then Snake Pliskin can rescue [insert anyone] from it.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        First, they are going to burn. Then split in 3 states. Then N.Korea will blast then with nukes. And then the inevitable “big one”… Another possibility is that they going to have so many illegals that they will vote to become “illegal state of america”. Seriously, I don’t see Cali exist in 20 years. At least, not as we know it. and I am not surprized. Cali was forced into US. Every time that happens, there will eventually be disputes, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      volvo driver

      Don’t forget to breathe Einstein.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Me think it is just a no name politician trying to get his name out. By the time the bill is debated it will end up allowing “carbon credit” to be used, so automaker will end up buying solar panel to “offset” some of those CO2 it emitted, or pay a fee to keep selling it.

    Hybrid took 20 years to become a viable alternative that stand on its own feet, battery may take some time but 23 years should be enough to make it where hybrid is today: cost effective alternative if you drive a lot of miles and willing to make the trade off of performance and range for total cost of ownership.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    So I guess all the cars and trucks in California will be registered in Nevada and Washington and other border states? Same with the limos for the award shows? That’s going to be really funny to watch, since I assume the governor’s motorcade will NOT consist of Priuses, and when the U.S. President shows up, they’re not going to tell him to leave his Suburbans and The Beast behind. Especially if it’s a Democrat by then.

  • avatar
    silentsod

    It’s their prerogative to try this out; if it’s a smash hit then great if not then hopefully the damage is limited to just them.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I think this is political vaporware, nothing more.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    And in other completely unrelated news, Tesla is still unable to ramp-up Model 3 production due to bottlenecks caused by a battery “shortage”.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    And Jay Leno keeps his collection where??? Oh yeah, Californistan. I wonder what he will do.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      In 2040 he’ll be 90 and the odds of him even being alive are not good, though I wish him long life. I wonder what will happen to his collection when he dies?

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Pink and green really do not go well together… WTF is up with that…

  • avatar
    dal20402

    It’s easy to tell which of the commenters in this thread has never owned, or probably driven, an EV. They are not some sort of penalty box. The driving experience is excellent, better in a lot of ways than ICE vehicles.

    The technology is moving unbelievably quickly. Three years ago, Your Standard Mass-Market EV was a crappy conversion of a gas car with 80 miles of range and a recharging time measured in hours. Today you can expect 200+ miles on a dedicated platform with fast charge capability that can get you useful range in less than half an hour. Batteries are getting lighter and cheaper every year. It’s perfectly reasonable to think that by 2040 the standard range will be 400 miles or more, charging infrastructure will be near-ubiquitous, and a road trip will be totally normal with a regular-speed charge overnight and one quick-charge in the middle of long driving days.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      My issue isn’t with the future viability of EVs. It is the ICE ban part.

      If EVs are as great by 2040 as your comment lays out then all an ICE ban will really do is penalize collectors and tinkerers that would likely drive low miles on fossil fuels in the first place.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I’d bet a three-foot-tall wing for a Charger that any such ICE ban will include a narrowly tailored exception for collector and historic vehicles, run in much the same way as collector plate programs today.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          That doesn’t sound great, because lots of states severely restrict what you can do with a car wearing classic plates. To and from the car shows doesn’t give me much of an opportunity to shift gears.

  • avatar
    markf

    Posturing and grandstanding, pick a date far enough in future then hope folks will forget about when it rolls around. Works for the Global Crowd when they put out their nonsensical “warnings”

  • avatar
    CobraJet

    That’s 22 years from now. I can tell you that I see quite a few 22+ year old vehicles on the streets every day around here, including my 1994 Chevy PU. People still rely on these old vehicles and can’t always afford to replace them. I’m sure the same is true in California.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    So much California hatred here. Yet while much of the rest of the US will attempt to return to the dark ages, California will still lead the world in 2040 and 2050, based on technology, tolerance, and progressive policies. In the next 25 to 50 years, the economic gap between an educated and enlightened California and the heartland (which has absolutely nothing to offer to a modern world; its only export may be intolerance) will become phenomenally big.

    I will wave to your rusty trucks from my quiet, safe and comfortable electric car!

  • avatar
    deanst

    California will be its own country in 2040, so to quote Joey Tribianni, “it’s a moo point”.

  • avatar
    JSP

    They should just regulate the fuel. If people want to fuel their classic V8 from 2017 with expensive bio-fuel 20 years from now, let them. There won’t be many people doing so and the environmental impact shall be negligible.

  • avatar
    hpycamper

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

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    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?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      Thank god that ICE engines run on a non-flammable substance and there are never any fueling accidents now. If cars ran on some volatile fuel like gasoline, THAT would be really dangerous!

      I’m pretty sure that if all we had was electric cars and there was a proposal to replace them all with ICE cars, the same people who are moaning now would be moaning going the other way. Can you imagine that every car will be carrying 15 gallons of gasoline around with it – that’s enough to burn down a whole city block. And you are telling me that each filling station will keep THOUSANDS of gallons of fuel on its premises? I can’t imagine how many huge gas explosions there will be! Etc.

      One guy introduced a proposal. It’s not the law yet, if it ever becomes the law it will have all sorts of exceptions and loopholes in it, but people are yelling, “the sky is falling”.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        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.

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