California’s zero emission vehicles by 2035 regulations


The official logo of California Air Resource Board (CARB). CARB works to protect California’s public from pollution and is developing programs to combat climate change. Photo via California Air Resource Board.

Paul Dorman, Reporter

On Aug. 25, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in the State of California released a series of zero emissions regulations to be planned for all vehicles sold after 2035. The regulations became effective as soon as they were announced, affecting not only the citizens of the state on a local level but also essentially all automakers on a global scale.


CARB’s reasoning behind the decision stems from the increasing perils of California’s air pollution due to population and vehicle density. According to CARB, transportation is responsible for approximately 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (when accounting for fuel production emissions) and 80 percent of air pollutants in the state of California. As a result of the new changes to regulations, they state that “By 2037, the regulation [will] deliver a 25 percent reduction in smog-causing pollution from light-duty vehicles to meet federal air quality standards.” By 2040, they wish to cut all greenhouse emissions from cars, pickups, and SUVs by half the current amount.


As for the health benefits, CARB estimates that from 2026 to 2040, the regulations will avoid nearly $13 billion in various respiratory and health impacts, including cardiopulmonary, cardiovascular diseases and respiratory illnesses such as asthma.


No new regulations will impact existing and fully legal vehicles on the road today. As a result, CARB plans to introduce further price cuts, warranties, benefits, and minimum performance requirements to push forward replacement vehicles as hard as economically possible for citizens of the state and automakers who invest in the regulations.


Other states are expected to follow suit with their regulations in the coming years as the United States slowly moves forward with climate control. As such, the country remains a fair distance away from other first-world nations, as these standards and regulations have already been introduced far before California’s. The European Union, for instance, has had regulations remarkably similar to California’s since at least 2019. Their principles are complete with almost the same guidelines, and various punishments in the form of taxation and charges are applied to companies that do not comply. It appears that the new rules of California will not be directly taxing or charging companies that refuse the new regulations.


Therefore, it remains to be seen how the state of California will handle cases of companies who refuse to comply with the regulations and whether the remainder of the U.S. as a whole can rapidly close the ever-growing regulation gap between itself and similarly established first-world countries.

Facebook Comments Box