California may ban gas-powered cars by 2040 if one lawmaker gets his way.
According to the Sacramento Bee, California State Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat, will introduce a bill to the state legislature that would “ban the sale of new cars fueled by internal-combustion engines after 2040.” Since the market has failed to entice consumers into buying electric cars, Ting feels it is now necessary for the state to force them into it.
“The market is moving this way. The entire world is moving this way,” Ting said. “At some point you need to set a goal and put a line in the sand.”
Back in 2012, California put forth a plan to have a fleet of 1.5 million “zero-emission vehicles” by 2025 in hopes that electric and hybrid vehicles will make up 15% of all new car sales. The results thus far have been dismal, since consumers want “prices to drop and battery ranges to improve.”
“Slightly more than 300,000 zero-emission vehicles have now been sold in California, and they accounted for just under 5 percent of new car sales in the state in the first half of the year,” reports the Bee.
Ting’s legislation hopes to provide incentive for drivers to buy electric cars and “overhaul California’s electric car rebate program by making more money available for rebates, then ratcheting down the value of those discounts as the state hits sales targets.”
“California is used to being first. But we’re trying to catch up to this,” Ting said.
The push to ban gas-powered vehicles falls in line with similar movements in France and the United Kingdom, which announced a similar plan this summer. India has made similar pledges, only they aim to get there sooner, by 2030.
Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, says that the time has come for California to step up the ban.
“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’ The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California,” she said.
Ting said that at the rate technology is shifting, we may not even be owning our own cars by 2040.
“If you had told me five years ago that we might have autonomous vehicles on the road soon, I would have laughed,” he said. “The technology is moving so quickly, I don’t know if by 2040 we’ll be owning our own cars.”