The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is calling on the US Federal Government to approve its plan to end sales of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035.

    According to a letter seen by Reuters, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has asked the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve a waiver under the Clean Air Act.

    The state wants only new plug-in hybrid, hydrogen fuel-cell and battery-electric vehicles to be permitted for sale beyond 2035.

    After state approval of the plan in August 2022, the Biden Administration must approve the new rules before the plan can come into effect.

    “As with all waiver requests from California, we’ll follow an open public process in considering it, as the agency routinely does,” said EPA spokesperson Tim Carroll when asked by Reuters about the waiver application.

    California is leading states around the United States in mandating heavier emissions standards.

    US states like Rhode Island joined Washington, Virginia, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts have followed California with stricter emission regulation efforts.

    Under California’s proposed regulations, it says it can reduce smog-causing pollution by 25 per cent solely from the reduction of ICE-powered light-duty vehicles by 2037.

    The aim is to drive a steady increase of new PHEV, hydrogen and electric vehicles.

    It calls for 35 per cent of the new vehicle market to be either plug-in hybrid, electric or hydrogen powered vehicles by 2026, 68 per cent by 2030, before reaching 100 per cent by 2035.

    The new Californian emissions rules will however allow carmakers to sell up to 20 per cent of their vehicles with plug-in hybrid powertrains as long as they can provide a 50-mile (80.5km) all-electric range.

    In 2022, only 5.8 per cent of new car sales in the US were of electric vehicles.

    An EPA proposal released earlier this year outlined plans to drastically cut vehicle emissions in the US by 2032, without calling for an outright ban on sales of regular combustion-powered vehicles – something Reuters reports the Biden Administration is reluctant to do.

    President Biden has previously called for EVs to account for 50 per cent of new vehicle sales by 2030, and EPA projections released earlier this year say that to meet new emissions requirements, carmakers will need to produce a 60 per cent EV-only fleet by 2030, reaching 67 per cent by 2032.

    The Administration claims there are currently three million electric vehicles registered within the country and over 135,000 publicly accessible EV chargers.

    “We can solve this climate crisis if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to cut pollution. California now has a groundbreaking, world-leading plan to achieve 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom.

    “This plan’s yearly targets – 35 percent ZEV sales by 2026, 68 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2035 – provide our roadmap to reducing dangerous carbon emissions and moving away from fossil fuels.

    “That’s 915 million oil barrels’ worth of emissions that won’t pollute our communities.”

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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