Governor Newsom plans to phase out gas-powered cars by 2035

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By Ronald Penh

Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that will ban the sale of carbon-emission vehicles by 2035 with the aim of reducing car pollution and tackling climate change.

“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Newsom said in a press release from the Officer or Governor Gavin Newsom. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse – and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”

The order will prohibit the sale of all in-state sales of passenger cars and trucks that are not zero-emission. It will not prohibit individuals from being able to continue driving gas-powered vehicles or from reselling gas-powered vehicles, but will prohibit them from being sold at auto dealerships.

“The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80 percent of smog-forming pollution and 95 percent of toxic diesel emissions – all while communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley see some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in the country,” the press release stated.

Only about 2% of vehicles in California were zero-emission in 2019, according to the Energy Commission of California. A total of 566,902 vehicles were zero-emission while 28,462,885 vehicles were not zero-emission.

Cesar Caceres, is the general sales manager at the DCH Gardena Honda on South Western Avenue and views the shift towards electric vehicles as positive.

“I think the electricified movement so called, is a very positive change,” said Caceres.

Caceres, however, had a criticism that he believes went unaddressed regarding the order.

“We are close to neighboring states, and if those neighboring states don’t follow his lead, then it’s very easy to cross the border to the next state and purchase a vehicle,” Caceres said. “Therefore you’re losing tax revenue, you lose everything that comes to the community in Gardena, all that godo stuff, all the revenue that happens in california which happens to be the #1 market in all of the world when it comes to car sales, you’re going to see a massive exodus of purchasing outside of California, just to get their particular vehicle.”

“I think if it’s a uniform front, and all of the United States goes with it, then I think it will be a successful plan,” Caceres said.

The sale of only non-emission vehicles would also impact auto service workers in the industry. Electric vehicles operate differently from gas-powered vehicles and tend to require less maintenance.

“Service is going to be there, it’s just going to have to evolve and change,” Caceres said. “Some jobs might be eliminated, while other jobs are going to be created.”

The city of Los Angeles is no stranger to combating air pollution, as some of the earliest measures to combat dense smoke emissions date back to 1905, according to a publication from the South Coast Air Quality Management District website. Newsom’s executive order puts California as the first state in the nation to push forward the ban against carbon-emission vehicles.

Newsom’s executive order puts California as the first state in the nation to push forward the ban against carbon-emission vehicles.