It’s Time to Relax About the New Gas Car Ban in 2035

Not an EV in an instant Utopia

No one will drive through town on January 1, 2035, presumably in a large truck that transforms into a fire-breathing mechanical dinosaur and destroys gas-powered vehicles parked in driveways. Sure, it would make for great reality television. But that is not what the rule states or intends.

Instead, the rule requires that all NEW vehicles sold in the state be electric. If you have a gas car at the time, you can still drive it around until you decide to sell it. The rule also permits the sale of used gas-powered vehicles. It’ll be fine at the used car lot down the street. The dealership’s used section will also suffice. If you want to sell your 1985 Volkswagen Rabbit Cabriolet, go ahead. It’s all right.

When the clock strikes midnight to mark the midpoint of the 2030 decade, California (and likely other states) roads will not magically become EV-only zones. At that time, gas cars will still exist. In fact, a gas car that is currently on the road will most likely continue to operate. Manufacturing has become incredibly efficient, resulting in vehicles that last much longer than they used to.

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There’s Time

“Oh my god, that’s so soon,” I’ve also heard. Actually, it isn’t in the case of EVs. We didn’t even have the Tesla Model S on the road 12 years ago (in 2010). You know, the car that made owning an EV cool. We did have the Nissan Leaf, which debuted in late 2010, but other than a few limited edition EVs from various automakers, that was about it.

We now have over a dozen electric vehicles available for purchase, and that number will only grow with each passing year. To demonstrate this point, the majority of the big news at this year’s very exclusive rich-person extravaganza known as Monterey Car Week was electric.

A person from the Rest of the World Charging Their EV

The news from California is making waves in the United States. In reality, other countries have already begun down this path. The European Union has already voted to prohibit the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

Some automakers, in fact, support the ban. Uncertainty is something the automotive industry despises. With billions of dollars invested in electrifying their future, having a firm date is actually quite beneficial. It also helps these automakers if the upcoming regulations governing new car sales take effect simultaneously. This provides them with a roadmap for transforming their fleet without worrying about building gas and electric versions of a vehicle.

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EV is afraid of change. Michael Marais / Unsplash Electric vehicles (EVs) are fashionable. But change is scary, and if the ban went into effect today, it would be a disaster. The charging infrastructure is inadequate, and automakers simply cannot produce the number of EVs required to make this a reality.

We have 12 years to get it right, thankfully. In the world of electric vehicles, a lot can happen in 12 years. Who would have guessed a decade ago that Tesla would sell a million electric cars by the end of 2022, or that the Hummer would be resurrected as an electric truck? Or that there would be a million articles written about road-trip charging.

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