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Now, more than ever before, a future in which every car on the road is powered by batteries, rather than gas, seems within reach. Leading the charge towards an all-electric future in terms of consumer adoption and legislative initiatives for EVs in the US is California, which has now (officially) finalized a 2035 gas car ban.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted unanimously this week to implement the Advanced Clean Cars II regulation, which was first ordered in 2020 by Governor Gavin Newsom and includes a ban on the sale off new gas-powered light duty passenger cars, trucks and SUVs after 2035. In addition, the ban includes a variety of other incentives and targets to ensure minimum standards and encourage both new and used electric vehicle sales. The Advanced Clean Cars II regulation outlines the following specifics:

– EVs must come with a charging cord
– Adapters must be available for standardized public chargers
– Used vehicles must have battery health metrics
– Batteries must hold 70 per cent of range for 10 years/150K miles (80 per cent after 2030 model year)
– Warranties must guarantee 70 per cent of battery capacity for 8 years/100K miles (75 per cent in 2031 model year).
– EV repair information must be disclosed to independent repair shops

The ban will allow for the purchase of new plug-in hybrid vehicles, and up to 20 per cent of a manufacturer’s vehicles can be PHEVs. In the years leading up to the ban, combustion-engine vehicles will reportedly be more “stringently regulated” by California’s low-emission vehicle (LEV) rules, with non-compliant automakers facing penalties of up to US$20,000 per vehicle.

Currently, California is the leading U.S. state for EV registrations (38 per cent of the country’s EV sales were in California last year) and this ban, which California is calling “the first of its kind”, stands to shake up automotive sectors in other regions, as well.

In Section 177 of the Clean Air Act, California is able to set its own emission standards stronger than the federal government, which empowers other states to adopt those same standards. As it stands, there are 15 “CARB states” that have adopted California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, and two more that accept California’s Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) regulations which, when combined, make up 40 per cent of the U.S. car market. In 2035 and beyond, if automakers want to sell cars in the U.S., they’ll have to prepare for (and cater to) California’s rules, as well as other CARB states.

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