The California Air Resources Board will vote Thursday on a measure banning new gasoline car sales in the state by 2035.
Board member Daniel Sperling told CNN he is "99.9 percent" confident the new rules will be approved, calling the move "monumental. This is the most important thing that CARB has done in the last 30 years. It's important not just for California, but it's important for the country and the world." This comes two years after California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order mandating that by 2035, all new vehicles sold in the state must be zero emission.
If the measure passes as expected, beginning with 2026 models, 35 percent of new cars, small pickup trucks, and SUVs sold in California will have to be zero emission. The quota will increase every year until 2035, when it reaches 100 percent. This does not affect used vehicles.
Sperling told CNN there has been "surprisingly little debate" from car companies, and "many of them have already made announcement about how they're converting totally to electric vehicles." California could lead the way for states in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest, Sperling said, which is "a big part of the U.S. market. Even if the feds don't move on a regulatory perspective, a big chunk of the country will be moving forward."