UPDATED: CA to ban gas-powered cars, trucks by 2035; heavy-duty trucks follow

CA rice truck

An executive order issued by California Gov. Gavin Newsom would require medium- and heavy-duty trucks to be 100% zero-emissions by 2045, where feasible.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order that would ban the sale of new gas-powered passenger cars and light duty trucks by 2035. Any new sales after the deadline would have to be 100% zero-emission vehicles.

In the same order, Newsom called for medium- and heavy-duty trucks to be 100% zero-emission by 2045, where feasible. He also set a goal for the state to transition to 100% zero-emission off-road vehicles and equipment by 2035, where feasible.

“We see this as potentially one of the most impactful regulations agriculture has ever seen affecting every farm in every region of the state,” the California Rice Commission said in an email to growers.

“Our initial assessment is the requirement is both technically impossible and beyond financially infeasible. The CRC has detailed Paul Buttner to start working immediately on technical arguments that we will advance now. Kahn, Soares and Conway is rallying other ag groups to formulate a policy response to the legislature and to CDFA.

“You should be calling your trade associations today to express your great concern. We need to avoid the cost and uncertainty of a 15-year uncontrolled regulatory process.”

At least a dozen countries have already set a target of 2030 for zero-emission vehicles, but Newsom’s order marks the first time a state has issued such requirements.

The move comes as the governor has blasted climate change as the cause of wildfires that have swept the state and continue burning in some locations this year. So far in 2020, more than 3 million acres have burned.

But experts also point to decades-old logging restrictions, which have allowed fuel loads to increase, as well as poor planning that allowed building and development in ecosystems classified as “frequent-fire communities,” as reasons for this year’s history-making wildfires.