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Could California Gas Car Ban Happen at the Federal Level? Buttigieg Wants It to Happen ‘Quickly’

Late last month, California’s Air Resources Board approved a regulation that will ban the sale of new gas-powered automobiles by 2035. No gas-powered vehicles with a model year of 2035 or beyond will be sold in the state, under the measure.

However, residents will still be allowed to purchase and drive used vehicles with gas engines under Resolution 22-12.

Naturally, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg likes the idea of an electric vehicle mandate — a lot. Buttigieg appeared on “The Issue Is” podcast Friday on KTTV-TV in Los Angeles. He expressed serious interest in rolling out a similar plan at the federal level.

“It’s interesting to see how the states are trying to go above and beyond what we’re doing at the federal level,” he told host Elex Michaelson, according to a transcript.

“I’m really interested to follow these developments, while we continue to set a national policy that’s the baseline for all of this,” he added. “We need to move in the direction of electric vehicles, and look, industry is already there — at least one major automaker says they’re not even planning to make gas cars past 2035 – but we’ve got to make sure that this happens quickly enough to help us be climate change.

He was referring to General Motors. In January 2021, the company said it hoped to “end sales of gas and diesel engine vehicles by 2035 as part of a broader pledge to become carbon neutral by 2040,” according to Forbes Wheels.

“We’ve got to make sure that it happens affordably enough, that it’s not just wealthy people, but low-income people who are the ones who most need those gas savings if they can afford the EVs in the first place,” Buttigieg said.

“And we need to make sure that this is a ‘made in America’ EV revolution, which is why our policies are designed to encourage domestic sourcing, domestic battery materials, so that we’re creating jobs on American soil.”

The problems with electric cars were made painfully obvious during last week’s brutal heat wave in the Golden State.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office sent a text message out to 27 million residents asking them to reduce their energy usage to avoid rolling blackouts.

Californians were asked not to charge their electric cars during peak hours.

According to the website CalMatters, currently, 16 percent of all new car sales in the state “are zero-emission vehicles, twice the share in 2020.”

What will happen when 100 percent of all new car sales are EVs? Will the power grid be ready by 2035 for the millions of electric vehicles that will require charging?

John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade group representing automakers, told CalMatters that while automakers support the transition, the timeline was “very aggressive” and it will be “extremely challenging” for everyone involved.

“Whether or not these requirements are realistic or achievable is directly linked to external factors like inflation, charging and fuel infrastructure, supply chains, labor, critical mineral availability and pricing and the ongoing semiconductor shortage,” Bozella explained.

“These are complex, intertwined and global issues well beyond the control of either the California Air Resources Board or the auto industry.”

When a state’s government asks residents to turn their air conditioners up to conserve energy, where does that leave EV owners?

Stranded.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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