What Is California’s Big Plan To Phase Out Gasoline-Powered Cars Anyway?
By Brittini Roze
If the right people aren’t pushing for change, you can expect nothing to change. But who are the right people?
That would be you! The 9-5 worker. The single mom. The single dad. The college student. The entrepreneur. The happy family from apartment 4C. We have to demand change or no one will listen.
In years past, sustainability was not really an issue for companies to consider because their consumers didn’t care much about it. But, as awareness has increased, eco-friendly products have become the norm for rising generations. It’s now more than the limited “reduce, reuse, recycle” talk in schools. And more than just picking up trash at the local park for a community service project. Though these are still crucial ideas that should be practiced.
Steps towards eco-friendly living are growing the popularity of EVs (Electric Vehicles). Instead of using fossil fuels like oil and gasoline, these cars are battery-powered. You know, like your smartphone or electric toothbrush. Simply plug it in for a few hours and you’re good to go!
California Governor, Gavin Newsom, has decided to lead a charge for the United States. A charge to phase out gasoline-powered cars. He’s following the lead of 15 other countries in the push for cleaner transportation. EVs will be the only type of vehicle sold in-state as early as 2035. Governor Newsom recognizes the impact burning fossil fuels has on the world. It’s more than the heavy smog, or visible air pollution, hazing our largest cities.
But can California actually follow through with this proposed plan? Are the goals set for this movement achievable? Are there any proposed repercussions or complications this new plan could cause?
In other words, what’s the plan? Can all Californians afford to comply? Is there a catch?
What’s the Plan Stan?
In the fall of 2020, California Governor Newsom announced an executive order to phase out gas-powered vehicles. The order will go into effect in 2035. The order states that all vehicles sold in-state must be electric vehicles (EVs).
The reason for this executive order is to address the issues of air pollution caused by car exhaust. To address the problems caused by burning fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. The world has long seen the effects of air pollution. Effects that come as a result of automobile emissions, manufacturing chemicals, and industrialization.
Newsom states on the official California Governor newsroom blog, “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse – and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”
Does the New Plan Include All Types of Currently Owned Gas-Powered Vehicles?
The plan targets all new cars and passenger trucks sold in-state. This will not include any current vehicle that is gas-powered. It will also not keep Californians from buying or selling gas-powered vehicles. So Facebook Marketplace and classic car lovers are in the clear.
It is unclear the extent of the orders but we can be sure that it will include all passenger cars and trucks. By 2045 larger hauling trucks are to be included in the switch where it is possible. There are no specifics on motorcycles, off-road vehicles, or other types of vehicles.
Will Everyone in California Be Driving $30,000+ Vehicles?
The short answer? No.
The technologies used in EVs used to have a higher price point. While that is still somewhat true today, the rapid pace at which new technologies are being replaced is helping. It means the gap between high-end and affordability is closing.
On top of that, experts are confident that by 2035, EVs will cost the same or less than your average gas-powered vehicle today.
Does the Fancy Tech Mean an Expensive Maintenance Bill?
Not only will the price gap between EVs and gas-powered vehicles shrink, but the cost to maintain them will be less than what you are paying now to fill up.
Experts say EVs are safer to drive. And while they still require regular maintenance, you are less likely to spend a fortune every time you visit a mechanic. No more going in for an oil change and being told about the $600 worth of repairs that your mechanic has uncovered.
In most EVs, there are fewer components that make up the vehicle. This means your chances of being stranded in a broken-down car will be low to unlikely so long as you’ve properly charged and kept up with the basic care of your EV.
How Much Does it Cost to Charge EVs Anyways?
As California prepares for an increase of EVs on the road, they have also prepared for the electrical demand of the power grid. Most logically, car charging happens whenever you get the chance. Peak charging times are seen after work in the evenings when most of your driving is done for the day. Charging can also be done during work periods where many businesses have optimized their parking lots for this option in an effort to encourage eco-travel.
To incentivize people against charging at peak times and overloading the system, electric companies will have lower costs at certain times of the day. The vehicle research team for Edmunds explains, “There are many factors that can go into charging your EV. If you buy an electric car, the cost of a fill-up will largely depend on when and where you charge it and what rates your utility company offers.”
Great! So, What’s the Catch?
There really isn’t a catch. All around, EVs are long-lasting, soon-to-be affordable, safe, and environmentally-friendly vehicles. It’s a no-brainer choice for the future of travel. But like any newly developed technology, there are bound to be roadblocks and unanswered questions. What things should you expect to come across as EVs take over the roadways?
Lions, and Tigers, and Bootleggers. Oh My!
Along with a new set of rules will come a new set of rule-breakers. With the limited selection of EV models currently, not everyone will be thrilled about no longer having options when it comes to vehicles. Car lovers, Jeep fanatics, truck and sport car enthusiasts alike will all be looking for loopholes around buying newer models of the vehicles they love.
As time goes on there will be more options and variety for EV cars. But those things will take time and participation from more car companies. As stated, the plan does not prevent people from buying or owning gas-powered cars. So unless you’re looking to buy a 2036 GMC Sierra, there is little to be upset about.
All the Power in the World
As the technology behind EVs grows, so does their potential for traveling longer distances between charges. But what if an event like a natural disaster strikes and causes power outages all over the state for weeks at a time?
For the time being, no one has answers for this. There are options to look into but nothing is tried and true. Lars Stenqvist of the Volvo Group stated on the topic of EV trucks, “…if we come into a society where we depend on electricity, it will be higher on the priority list.”
What Will the Future of EV Look Like?
Just like the development of cameras, TVs, and the telephone, transportation looks different than it did 100, 50, even 20 years ago. We’re not quite at the flying car mark as predicted by Back to the Future writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.
But great strides have been made towards making vehicles safer, cost-efficient, reliable, versatile, and all-around more efficient. It’s about time sustainability was also a priority. The future of EV is progressively looking brighter. There is much to look forward to and little to fear.
When given the option of going electric, would you be willing to consider it? Even if you can’t financially afford to go electric just yet, there are other eco-friendly travel options. A great way to keep in the loop on all things environmentally friendly is to sign up for Ocean Blue Project Newsletter.
New content is being published regularly to keep you up to date on new ideas on sustainable living, environmental events, and all-around interesting and valuable information on keeping you and our planet a happy and safe place to live.
And who knows, maybe someday there will be a continuation of this article on flying cars. Wouldn’t want to miss that!
Author Bio: Brittini Roze is a travel copywriter who is devoted to experiencing and preserving different cultures, the world which we call home, and the adventurous spirit in herself and others.