California Proposes Tripling the Sale of Electric Cars by 2026

Aside from boosting required sales of electric vehicles, the proposal would ban sales of new gas-fueled cars by 2035

The Golden State would really, really like to see you zipping through your commute in an electric vehicle. Under a proposal by the California Air Resources Board, the state would require 35 percent of new passenger vehicles sold here to run on batteries or hydrogen by 2026. To give a sense of scale, in 2021, 12 percent of new car sales in the state were zero-emission.

The proposal would gradually raise the sales of zero-emission vehicles—electric, hydrogen-powered or plug-in hybrids—to 100 percent of new vehicle sales by 2035, meaning they would be the only type of car you could buy new. Currently, about 1 million out of the 26 million cars (3.8 percent) on the road in California are zero-emission. Some 11 percent of new car sales nationally occur in California, per the Associated Press.

The proposal would also ban new gas-fueled cars by 2035, although it would not be illegal to own or sell a used one after that.

More electrical cars means more charging stations will be needed. California aims for 250,000 charging stations by 2025. Currently, there are fewer than 80,000.

Speaking for automakers including Ford and Toyota, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation told the AP that their industry is “committed to electrification and a net-zero carbon transportation future,” but were uncertain about the proposed sudden increased in electric-vehicle sales:

“Automakers will certainly work to meet whatever standards are eventually adopted, but these draft requirements will be extremely challenging even in California and may not be achievable in all the states that currently follow California’s [zero-emission vehicle] program.” Nine other states follow California’s zero-emission vehicle program.

California’s state Legislature is set to vote on the proposal in August.

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