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California Bill in the Works to Banish Gasoline Cars by 2040

A California lawmaker wants to put the state alongside China, France and the U.K. and have its legislature consider a ban on vehicles powered by fossil fuels.


California Assembly member Phil Ting, a Democrat who is chairman of the chamber’s budget committee, said he plans to introduce a bill that, starting in 2040, would allow the state’s motor vehicles department to register only “clean” vehicles that emit no carbon dioxide, such as battery-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars.


“Until you set a deadline, nothing gets done,” Ting, who represents much of San Francisco, said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s responsible for us to set a deadline 23 years in advance.”

Ting said he’ll introduce the bill when lawmakers return to Sacramento next month for the upcoming legislative session. If adopted, it would eliminate a huge chunk of carbon emissions from the transportation sector -- now the top source of the greenhouse gas in the U.S. -- as part of the state’s quest to slash emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.

Ting isn’t the first official from the state with the largest market for new vehicle sales in the U.S. to openly consider a ban on internal-combustion engines. The topic has been discussed at the California Air Resources Board, the state’s powerful air quality regulator, after Governor Jerry Brown showed interest in similar moves by other countries, including China.

“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’” CARB Chairman Mary Nichols said in September, referring to China’s planned phase-out of fossil-fuel vehicle sales. “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California.”


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I could not help from laughing when reading this. Don't get me wrong I am all for clean air. I see several problems with this. First there is no triggering mechanism in place to suspend the implementation of this law if no suitable technology exists in this 23-year period to replace Gasoline burning cars. Some people that advocate electric cars even if the battery technology in 23 years is better than today don't seem to understand this energy has to be produced somewhere. Currently at this time the electrical grid in California is at almost 100%. If I remember correctly California is already importing power today. According to figures released by the US Energy Information administration currently 84% of all electrical generation in the US uses fossil fuels. All electrical cars will do is trade one form of fossil fuel usage for another. In relationship to future tech 23 years while it seems like a long period is is not. Can you imagine the chaos that will ensue in California if autos are banned and everybody is required to use electric cars with the limitations California has on its power Grid? It will take BILLIONS of $$$ to beef up that power grid to handle this load. Will they have this kind of cash? Who will be ponying up this cash? If the state expects the utilities to do it without MAJOR rate hikes they are delusional. Either way the people of California will pay for this. Maybe in 23 years some good alternate form of energy will be discovered, then again maybe not. Without that triggering mechanism in place a lot of politicians are going to have live fires under their rears. I find myself hoping this does pass and become law, serves the people of California right for electing these dunderheads to start with!

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That's pretty interesting. You make some good points too, Chirp. In 23 years the technology will certainly be good enough to do that. I suppose it's possible that there may be solar cells efficient enough to provide enough electricity to charge the batteries. But, otherwise, I don't know where the power will come from. It will be interesting to see how the bill progresses.

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