California bans combustion engine car sales from 2035

The US state has banned sales of cars emitting CO2 from 2035.

Photo: Lance Iversen/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

Thursday local time, the California Air Resources Board voted to require all new car sales from 2035 be of zero-emissions models, reports several media, including news agency AFP.

The move is lauded by green groups hoping the measure could lead other US states to accelerate the transition to zero-emissions cars.

In a report on Tuesday this week, the New York Times cited Governor Gavin Newsom saying the new policy spells the end of the internal combustion engine.

Sales of hydrocarbon-fueled cars to California’s roughly 40 million residents will be gradually phased out in coming year until the aforementioned cut-off date.

”The timeline is ambitious but achievable: by the time a child born this year is ready to enter middle school, only zero-emission vehicles or a limited number of plug-in hybrids will be offered for sale new in California,” the California Air Resources Board says, according the French news agency.

The regulator adds that public heath benefits of switching the zero-emissions cars will be considerable.

”By 2037, the regulation delivers a 25 percent reduction in smog-causing pollution from light-duty vehicles,” the authority adds. ”This benefits all Californians but especially the state’s most environmentally and economically burdened communities along freeways and other heavily traveled thoroughfares.”

From 2026 to 2040, the policy will expectedly result in 1,290 fewer deaths caused by smog-induced cardio-respiratory disease, 460 fewer hospitalizations, and 650 fewer people seeking medical attention in emergency rooms on account of asthma, the board deems.

Other federal states will likely follow suit, observers say, with the California regulation thereby seen as expediting decarbonization of transport and helping to mitigate climate change.

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