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California Introduces Bill to Ban New Gasoline and Diesel Vehicles by 2040

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California has been pushing for a greener automotive industry for years, from offering electric vehicle rebates to building electric highways. Now, government officials are taking it one giant step further.

California’s state Legislature introduced a bill Wednesday that would ban new fossil-fueled passenger vehicles from being sold in the state of California by January 1, 2040. The bill, nicknamed Clean Cars 2040, was introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting. While the year 2040 seems far off, this sets a realistic and hard deadline for automakers to adjust their vehicle lineups.

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“As introduced, [this bill] requires all new passenger vehicles to be zero emissions vehicles after January 1, 2040,” the California Assembly said in an announcement. “For the purposes of the bill, zero emissions vehicles cannot produce exhaust emissions of any criteria pollutant or greenhouse gas under any operational mode or condition.”

In the past, California Governor Jerry Brown has had a strong focus on reducing emissions in California, looking to countries like France and the United Kingdom as they work on similar legislation. Under Governor Brown, the state is working to put 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles on the road by 2025.

“If we want to seriously combat climate change, protect our clean air and water, and ensure a just transition to clean energy, we need to invest in clean, zero emission transportation,” said Tom Steyer, president of NextGen America. “Dirty vehicles are the largest source of carbon emissions in California – polluting the air and water for millions across the state – so we must take action to accelerate the transition to 100% clean vehicles.” In the state of California, 40% of greenhouse gas emissions come from gasoline and diesel vehicles.

This bill, however, excludes one primary pollution contributor: semi-trucks. All commercial vehicles larger than 10,000 pounds are the exception to this rule. This bill also allows California residents to purchase a new vehicle from another state and bring it to California.

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News Sources: Phil Ting, Automotive News (subscription required), Jalopnik