Status of California Gasoline Phaseout Legislation
Coltura and the Yes Clean Cars coalition worked with Assemblyman Phil Ting to advance AB40, the “AB40 for 2040” bill, directing the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a strategy for all new cars sold starting with model year 2040 to be Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs). The bill was blocked in the Assembly Transportation Committee, but survived in 2019 as a $1.5 m budget item
“for a study to identify strategies to significantly reduce emissions from vehicles and to achieve carbon neutrality in the sector, including the transition to zero-emission light-duty vehicles, in particular, passenger vehicles, the transition to zero-emission heavy vehicles, and the adoption of other technology to significantly reduce emissions from heavy vehicles; the role of alternative fuels; and the impact of land use policy.”
The coalition’s next step is to ensure that this study includes a scoping plan for how to phase out sales of new gasoline vehicles by 2040. A 2040 gasoline phaseout means that older gasoline cars would be grandfathered in — people could keep, sell and purchase model year 2039 and prior gasoline vehicles without restriction. Once the plan is developed, another law would have to be passed to require implementation of the plan.
Benefits of Developing and Implementing 2040 Gasoline Phaseout Strategy
Addresses vehicle emissions, a major contributor to air pollution, responsible for 21,000 premature deaths a year in California, as well as increased rates of asthma, heart and lung diseases, dementia and cancers.
Addresses transportation emissions, the single biggest source of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions.
Helps ensure California meets its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, and 80% by 2050.
Reduces the environmental destruction (including spills, explosions, habitat disruption, and land, air and water contamination) connected with oil exploration, drilling, extraction, transportation, refining, use and waste product disposal.
Decreases the market for gasoline and the crude oil it comes from, removing the financial basis for oil exploration and drilling projects, including those off the California coast.
Sends a clear signal that the gasoline era is ending. The phase-out date creates certainty for investors, automakers and parts suppliers, the EV charging industry, utilities and governments that the shift to clean vehicles will happen, helping them plan for the transition and ensure it takes place in a smooth, orderly fashion.
Puts California businesses, utilities, and government on the leading edge of the EV revolution; helps ensure California EV automakers, EV charging infrastructure companies, battery companies, EV startups, and EV-related products and services companies remain competitive as the global trend towards vehicle electrification continues.
Benefits California’s electronic industry -- EVs have $4,000 more in electronics than equivalent gas cars.
Ultimately saves $15 billion/year in health and climate costs in California from smog, soot and climate pollution of vehicle emissions.
Gives Californians control over pricing and sources of transportation fuel; insulates Californians from volatile oil prices.
Environmental Justice/Economic Justice:
Expands options for low income residents to lower their vehicle fuel costs via discounted electricity rates and discounted solar panels and solar for affordable housing (vs gasoline, which costs the same for everyone).
Lowers electricity rates for all Californians – not only those who drive an electric vehicle.
Lowers health care costs for Californians, through fewer doctor visits for patients and lowered health insurance premiums and tax burdens for the broader public.
Enables savings of many hours spent on gas station fill-ups and mechanical car maintenance.
Ensures a wide selection of makes and models of clean: trucks, SUVs, sports cars, CUVs, luxury vehicles, compact cars and everything in between, with automakers offering competitive prices to compete for drivers’ business.
Enables drivers to travel by personal vehicle without also having to pollute the air and cause harm to health and climate.
Frees drivers from having to purchase fuel at toxic gas stations with prices set by volatile global markets.
Facilitates a future in which drivers can fuel from the comfort of home, and make their own fuel from sun and wind.
Enables more clean, renewable electricity on the grid, with EVs acting as battery storage units.
Enables reduction of grid operating costs by balancing supply and demand.
Supports emergency-response situations (in which power can be provided from EV batteries).
Enables EVs to serve as battery storage for the grid.
Provides the cheapest, most effective policy to get more clean cars on the road. California has 25 million passenger vehicles, and sells two million/year. With the legislation, beginning in 2040, all two million new vehicles will be clean -- with no taxpayer outlay.
Reduces California’s (and America’s) need to risk the lives of troops to secure supplies of oil.
Loosens the oil lobby’s grip on California politicians.
Creates job growth, including hundreds of thousands of California jobs related to transportation electrification in areas such as auto design and manufacture, charging infrastructure, public awareness/education, grid upgrades and operation, battery manufacture, electronics/software, research and development and innovation.
Economic growth from fuel cost savings increases average real wages and employment across the economy (even for those who don’t buy a new EV). On average, a dollar saved at the gas pump and spent on the other goods and services that households want creates 16 times more jobs.
Expands fuel supply work from a few giant corporations that have controlled the fuel system for decades to create new companies and job opportunities.
California Gasoline Phaseout Legislation