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California Set to Adopt Toughest Zero Emission Vehicle Standards in US - Could Set Precedent

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California’s regulators adopted the toughest stance in the US on the future of internal combustion engines this week, directing manufacturers to sell only zero-emission models by 2035.

  • "The industry is fully committed to electrification. We will invest hundreds of billions of dollars. We can build electric vehicles," said Steve Douglas, vice president of tradegroup the Alliance of Automotive Innovation, whose members include Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen. "But, can consumers afford them, can they conveniently fuel them, is the battery supply chain sufficient?"
  • Californian regulators still require a waiver from the US EPA to be allowed to implement the mandate.
  • The Clean Air Act allows California to adopt its own vehicle emissions rules, subject to approval from the EPA. Previous clean air standards set under the rules have been followed by 17 other states, meaning this proposal could encourage those states to set similar targets. The 17 states account for approximately 40% of US car sales.
  • Under the proposal, manufacturers zero emissions vehicles must make up 35pc of those offered in the 2026 model year, 68pc of vehicles offered in 2030 and 100pc of new vehicles for the 2035 model year.
  • Just over 12% of vehicle sales in California last year were battery or hybrid.

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