California contemplates new carbon emissions approach to future vehicles

(Photo: Shutterstock)

(Photo: Shutterstock)

The California Air Resources Board (CARB), through chairperson Mary Nichols, has revealed the state’s interest in banning vehicles that produce carbon emissions, Bloomberg News reports. Governor Jerry Brown has called Nichols to ask why the CARB has not moved forward on this idea, Nichols told Bloomberg.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, California has been encouraging automobile manufacturers to create vehicles dependent on green energy, turning California into a leading market for electric cars.

China recently joined a growing list of countries placing bans on the development and sales of cars powered by carbon-based fuels. Early adopters have included the United Kingdom and France. Even Norway, a major oil exporting country, has joined the fray, trying to beat the deadline set by the UK and France of 2040 with consideration of a 2025 ban.

In Asia, India is targeting 2030 for a possible ban and while China has announced a ban, it has not set a date yet.

“Given the existential challenge we face, the administration is looking at many, many possible measures - including additional action on electric vehicles - to help rapidly decarbonize the economy and protect the health of our citizens,” CARB spokesperson Dave Clegern emailed the San Francisco Chronicle.

Any potential ban from California is still uncertain as a proposed Democratic bill to require “100 percent renewable electric power” in California has not advanced.

California remains on target for generating 40% lower greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 compared to 2020. An 80 percent reduction rate is then projected by 2050.

A CARB analysis noted the ten-year interval could make it possible for “nearly 100% [sales of electric vehicles] in the state by 2040 to hit that 2050 emissions target.”

These estimated figures were confirmed by the Director of the California Vehicles and Fuels Program, Simon Mui, at the Natural Resources Defense Council. He noted how the quest for 80% reduction is possible by “the phaseout of combustion technologies” with climate goals in mind.

Even with California having about 157,000 electric vehicles registered in California, it still generates 34% of its emissions from vehicles.