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California to ban the sale of new gas-powered passenger vehicles starting in 2035

California to phase out new gas-powered cars
California to phase out new gas-powered cars 01:51

California will ban the sale of new gas-powered passenger cars and trucks starting in 2035, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday. The executive order, one of the most ambitious in the nation, will require all new vehicles sold after that date to be zero-emission. 

If successful, the order will cause a more than 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions statewide, the governor's office said in a statement. The order directs California's air resources board to develop regulations that will help the state meet the deadline, and orders it to mandate that medium- and heavy-duty vehicles be zero-emission "where feasible" by 2045. 

California accounts for more than 10% of all new vehicle sales in the country, according to The Associated Press. The state already has rules governing the number of gas-powered vehicles that can be sold — but if the order is successfully implemented, California could be the first state to fully phase them out, the AP reported. California has repeatedly clashed with President Trump over fuel emissions. 

"The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California's carbon pollution, 80% of smog-forming pollution and 95% of toxic diesel emissions – all while communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley see some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in the country," the statement said. 

"Cars shouldn't give our kids asthma. Make wildfires worse. Melt glaciers. Or raise sea levels," Newsom tweeted, adding that the state is joining 15 countries that have committed to phasing out gas-powered vehicles. 

The governor's office stressed that it will still be legal to own a gas-powered vehicle or to sell one used. 

"By the time the new rule goes into effect, zero-emission vehicles will almost certainly be cheaper and better than the traditional fossil fuel powered cars," the statement said. "The upfront cost of electric vehicles are projected to reach parity with conventional vehicles in just a matter of years, and the cost of owning the car – both in maintenance and how much it costs to power the car mile for mile – is far less than a fossil fuel burning vehicle." 

The order comes as wildfires continue to ravage the state. Experts have said that the record-setting intensity of this year's fire season can be attributed in large part to climate change. 

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