California's 2035 ICE Sales Ban One Step Closer To Reality

Government / 24 Comments

The Golden State is asking the Biden-Harris administration to approve a waiver under the Clean Air Act.

The future of California's Clean Cars II Act - a law that bans the sale of all internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles from 2035 - is now in the hands of the Biden-Harris administration.

In a report by Automotive News, the Golden State is said to have formally asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve a waiver so it can implement its regulations that were approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) last year.

The CARB approved the regulations on ICE in August 2022, which will arrive in multiple phases. By 2026, 35% of new cars should be plug-in hybrid electric, EVs, or hydrogen fuel cell. This will increase to 51% in 2028, then to 68% in 2030, and then finally to 100% by 2035.

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California's regulations go further than the EPA's Clean Air Act proposal, which was announced in April 2023 and will take effect in 2027. In the said proposal, automakers are required to sell 60% EVs by 2030 and 67% by 2032 to meet the requirements. Considering several automakers have pledged to an all-electric lineup by 2030, the EPA regulations are closer to reality.

Of note, California residents can keep their ICE-powered vehicles in the proposed timeline. Used sales will also continue, although the authorities hope that incentives - such as paying classic car owners to convert to EVs - will eventually lead to everyone switching to electric mobility.

In short, Californians who are looking to purchase a gas-powered Ford F-150 are highly encouraged to buy the F-150 Lightning instead.

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California is the most prominent car market and the most significant state economy in the US. In fact, globally, it has the fifth largest economy, outranking India.

We'll know more about this development in the months to come. EPA spokesperson Tim Carroll told Automotive News that "as with all waiver requests from California, we'll follow an open public process in considering it, as the agency routinely does."

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