Environmental Science Beat


Amidst the world’s struggle against climate change, California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the state’s plan to discontinue its selling of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. 

Newsom announced this plan with the hopes to redirect citizens to electric-powered cars and to lessen the state’s reliance on fossil fuels. 

According to the official homepage for the state of California, ”transportation currently accounts for more than 50 percent of California’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” a number that would drop drastically if the state stays on track with its projected gasoline car ban.  

The website also states that by 2035, electric vehicles will be cheaper than most gasoline-powered cars. Currently the average price of an electric-powered vehicle comes in around $66,000, a figure that has increased about 13% in the past few years, according to Electrek, a news company dedicated to tracking data on electric transportation throughout the country.  

California’s website does not state how they will be working on making the vehicles more affordable for residents. 

Maddie Sullivan, a fifth semester finance major, is wary about how successful this ban will be on getting people to buy electric cars. 

“Statistically it would have to work if people can’t buy gas cars, unless people leave the state to buy them and come back in, because that is possible. People are going to leave the state to buy cars because people already do that. I’m from New York and I bought a car from Connecticut,” Sullivan said.  

Similarly, while this ban only restricts the purchasing of new gasoline cars, people will be able to buy and sell used gasoline powered cars for an extended time before the cars are purchased or no longer able to be driven.  

California’s ban comes following President Joe Biden’s new climate change bill he signed last month. Coined The Inflation Reduction Act by Democrats, the bill is providing $370 billion to aid electric companies to switch to greener energy and decrease their dependence on fossil fuels, as well as provide people with a tax credit if they buy an electric car, The New York Times said. 

The state has more that needs to be done in order to make it electric vehicle-friendly. According to Cap Radio, a station serviced at University of California, Sacramento, the state lacks adequate charging stations for electric-powered cars and those that are there do not work properly. The station said this is a big factor that has been turning residents away from buying electric cars.  

Cap Radio also said that the car industry needs to hire a whole new workforce, specifically engineers who are familiar with working on electric-powered vehicles, because the cars perform differently and require different maintenance in comparison to gasoline cars.  

California’s Air Resources Board also has implemented a law forcing truck companies to switch to greener alternatives starting in 2024, California’s official website says.  

The site states that Governor Newsom has been working on multiple projects in an effort to reduce climate change. Newsome told state agencies to work on creating a climate-resilient water system, as well as invest in programs working toward preventing wildfires and protecting the forests. 

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