April 13 (UPI) — California’s air regulators unveiled a plan Wednesday that would require about one-third of all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state to be zero-emission electric vehicles, or EVs, by 2025.
The proposal by the California Air Resources Board would require 35% of new passenger vehicles to be powered by batteries or hydrogen by the 2026 model year and 100% of sales to exhibit net-zero emissions by 2035.
“Emissions from motor vehicle engines hurt public health, welfare, the environment and the climate in multiple interrelated ways,” the board said. “Reducing emissions of one kind supports reducing emissions of others and contributes to decreasing the severity of their impacts.”
The board noted that electric vehicle sales in California rose to 12.4% of total sales in 2021, up from 7.8% in 2020.
It added that 74% of California drivers reported having “at least some interest” in owning an electric vehicle with 40% saying they would consider purchasing one as their “next vehicle.”
However, the board said that changes including more affordable battery technology, increased public charging stations and an effective marketing campaign would be necessary to increase interest in electric vehicles.
“This consumer change will require continued improvements in electric vehicle technology, owner support and conveniences, as well as successful strategies to communicate the benefits to potential buyers,” the plan stated.
Under the plan, Californians would still be permitted to own gas-powered vehicles and sell them on the used market.
The plan corresponds with an executive order signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020 seeking to end the sale of new internal-combustion passenger vehicles by 2035.
A public hearing on the proposal will be held on June 9 and written comments on the plan must be submitted by May 31.