November 2nd, 2020|
By 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California must be zero-emission vehicles, according to a September 23 press release from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Though California is the first state in the U.S. to enact such a law, it’s joining 15 countries, including Germany and France, that have also vowed to phase out gasoline-powered cars.
Why Is California Taking This Step?
California has long been a leading state in the U.S. for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After a difficult year of wildfires, air pollution, and mass dislocation, this initiative aims to reduce the effects of gas-powered vehicles on California’s environmental well-being.
As Newsom said in his press release:
“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.”
Newsom states the new rule will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35% in California.
Can You Still Own a Gas-Powered Vehicle After This Rules Goes into Effect?
Yes, the rule doesn’t prevent California residents from owning or driving gas-powered vehicles, nor does it prevent used gas-powered vehicles from being sold in California. It simply stops sales of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks within the state. The governor has also told state agencies to develop more charging stations throughout the state to accommodate the increased number of electric vehicles.
Does This Rule Face Any Opposition?
The stop-sales rule will likely be contested in one form or another. The federal government could challenge the rule in courts. It’s also possible that other legal challenges could be issued within the state, particularly if leadership changes hands in California and the new state government chooses to reverse the decision between now and the 2035 deadline.
Fracking Is Also Mentioned in the Governor’s Order
Newsom also ordered California’s legislature to eliminate new fracking licenses by 2024. Fracking is the process of injecting high-pressure mixtures of chemicals and other substances into shale rock to extract oil and gas.
Some environmental safety advocates say that Newsom’s order is meant to address criticism of his administration’s willingness to give permits to companies that drill and frack. By setting a new fracking license deadline of 2024, these advocates suggest that Newsom is passing that task on to his successor.
Are Electric Cars Safe for Drivers?
Because gasoline-powered vehicles contain much more combustible fuel than electric vehicles, safety advocates generally believe that electric cars are safer than their gas-guzzling counterparts. However, electric vehicles do contain lithium-ion batteries, which have proven dangerous in laptops, phones, and other consumer products.
The safety of California’s next generation of electric vehicles depends on the standards set by vehicle manufacturers. It’s important for these companies to prioritize safety in their efforts to meet California’s new standards.
If You Need Legal Help After a Crash in California, Let Us Help
At Berg Injury Lawyers, we’ve helped California residents with many different types of vehicle-related injuries. Whether you want to hold a negligent driver or a negligent vehicle manufacturer accountable for the damages you’ve suffered, we can help.