"Until you set a deadline, nothing gets done"

California may be the first U.S. state to place a ban on combustion engines. With bans on fossil fuel-powered cars already being advanced in territories ranging from cities to entire countries — something we've been discussing on the InsideEVs Forum — it only makes sense that legislative action is being considered in a U.S. state with historic air pollution problems.

Smog envelopes LA

Smog envelopes LA

Representative Phil Ting from 19th Assembly District -- an area that includes western San Francisco and the northern part of San Mateo County -- reportedly plans to introduce a bill that would effectively ban internal combustion vehicles in 2040. It would only allow vehicles with no tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions to be registered in the Golden State. Currently, that would leave the door open to only electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Ting, who plans on tabling a bill in January, explained his reasoning behind the move to Bloomberg in a phone interview:

“Until you set a deadline, nothing gets done. It’s responsible for us to set a deadline 23 years in advance.”

News of the effort comes on the heels of an earlier report that California Governor Jerry Brown had been asking officials at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) why a legislative approach hadn't already been tried. The State has already targeted an 80 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels before 2050, and with transportation pollution now overtaking that of electricity production as the largest source of the greenhouse gas, it makes sense to target this source.

With the target date being so far in the future, it's unlikely the bill, if passed, would have any real effect in the next decade or so. Some might argue that given the pace of advance in electric vehicle technology, the legislation might be a moot point come 2040. We certainly hope so.

Source: Bloomberg