Gas Powered Car Ban in California


The Sacramento Bee

On September 23, Governor Gavin Newsom shared his plans about the 2035 gas powered car ban to the public.

Kylie de Best, Section Editor

With the fires raging in California, it has been evident that climate change has been dramatically affecting the world. California’s governor Gavin Newsom has been well aware of this and intends to make amends to the state that will aid in slowing the process. On September 23, a new law was proposed, stating that by 2035 all production of gas-powered cars is to be banned.


This is a drastic change from Newsom’s other plans that involved expanding more fossil fuel companies over the summer. However, more recently Newsom feels tackling climate change is imperative, especially since cars are responsible for half the carbon emissions in California. California will be the first state to make this change, but we have already seen countries like Germany and France do this. Additionally, California has the most electric vehicles compared to any other state, though the amount of electric to gas-powered vehicles is only about 5%. 


In Newsom’s statement regarding the ban, he mentions how for years cars have been resulting in more polluted air, melting glaciers, and causing sea level rise (yahoo! finance). The reason this happens is due to the greenhouse effect. When emissions are in the air, they trap heat, raising global temperatures and melting the glaciers that then contributes to sea-level rise.


Though this ban has the intention of making California a more environmentally conscious state, Elon Musk says that “it would take about 15 years of all-electric sales to eliminate most internal combustion engine cars from the road” (Fox News). At the moment, 2035 has been the goal for making the change before the world hits irreversible damage from climate change, so this ban will have to quickly become effective to help prevent this.


Despite gas-powered car sales being banned, it is still legal for people who own gas-powered cars to drive them and sell ones made before the ban. However, many are concerned over potential price increases to cars, making it hard for many to afford. Celina Fang (10) agrees, saying “my family currently owns a gas-powered car, and many people probably won’t be able to afford an electric car considering how expensive they are”. To accommodate for this though, Tesla will try to sell a $25,000 car within the next three years, as they anticipate battery prices should drop soon. Additionally, compared to gas cars, electric vehicles cost less for maintenance and repair, roughly half the price to be exact. To those who are not willing to buy an electric car, they can always buy their car from a different state that won’t have these regulations. 


For this ban to successfully work, major changes will need to be made. Right now California has 25,000 charging stations, but with more electric vehicles, the state will need hundreds of thousands more built in a limited time. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has some concerns about this since we currently face problems with power outages, and the switch to all-electric cars could strain our electric grid even more (The Wall Street Journal). To resolve this issue, it is likely that California will expand its electricity supply by 25%. 


With the pros and cons of this new car ban, many are wondering how this will all work out in such a short amount of time. The idea itself seems to be very new and not mentioned as much before. However, it is much needed in a state whose reality is being altered by the continuous effects of climate change.