Originally published on Gas2.
By Marc Howe
California is shoring up its status as the USA’s leading state when it comes to fostering the usage of environmentally friendly vehicles, with a leading civil servant now advancing plans to make all of its new cars zero-emission by as early as 2030.
Mary Nichols, the chair of the California Air Resources Board, recently told Bloomberg that she hopes to implement new rules in the state that would eventually prohibit the sale of new cars that are equipped with internal combustion engines – the core propulsive technology of the modern automobile nearly since its inception.
The zero-emissions vehicle program that California has in place at present requires that 2.7% of new cars that are purchased within the state in 2015 be free of greenhouse gas emissions.
Under current plans, California will gradually increase this figure starting in 2018, so that, by 2025, as many as 22% cent of all new cars sold in the state are required to be emissions free.
According to reports, Nichols hopes to dramatically lift California’s zero-emission goal, with the requirement that all new vehicles sold within the state be almost or entirely emissions free by 2030.
This ambitious move would in turn pave the way for making all of California’s cars emissions free by mid-century, as conventional internal-combustion vehicles that make use of diesel or gasoline are gradually phased out and replaced by cleaner alternatives.
70-year old Nichols has been head of California’s Air Resources Board for the past 8 years, commencing her second tenure in the position in 2007. She previously served as chair of the board from 1979 to 1983.
California governor Jerry Brown would appear to be sympathetic to Nichols’ ambition plan, having issued an executive order for an 80% reduction in the state’s greenhouse-gas emissions by mid-century, as well as pushing for a halving of transportation-related usage of petroleum by 2030.