California is Going All-In with Zero Emission Vehicles—No Gas Engine Sales Starting in 2035

On September 23, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-79-20, tasking the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) with ensuring that all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state will be Zero Emission Vehicles (“ZEVs”) by 2035. The Order further dictates that all medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold in the state shall be ZEVs by 2045. Prior to the Executive Order, CARB adopted the Advanced Clean Truck Rule that includes sales targets for ZEV heavy-duty trucks.

Additionally, the Order directs a series of deadlines for state and local action to reduce California’s carbon footprint as it relates to transit and fossil fuel consumption:

  • The state’s Department of Conservation shall propose stricter health and safety rules regarding oil extraction by December 31, 2020.
  • State and local agencies are to work with the private sector to create a “Zero-Emissions Vehicle Market Development Strategy” by January 31, 2021. Relevant state agencies will also be required to update the state’s assessment of ZEV infrastructure to reflect these goals.
  • By July 15, 2021, state agencies will also identify near-term actions to support clean transportation development throughout the state, including ZEV projects, as well as develop a strategy and recommendations for closing and remediating oil extraction sites.
  • Additionally, the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Natural Resources Agency, in consultation with other agencies, must expedite regulatory processes to repurpose and transition upstream and downstream oil production facilities. The agencies must report on progress and provide an action plan by July 15, 2021.

Any regulatory updates implementing the Order will likely invite litigation, and interested parties should be prepared to participate in formal rulemaking proceedings as well as informal stakeholder engagement. 

Beveridge & Diamond’s Mobile Source Emissions group has experience in all aspects of mobile source emissions regulation. For over two decades, the firm has engaged in a host of matters involving rulemakings, regulatory interpretation, compliance, enforcement, litigation, and advocacy with respect to automobiles and light-duty vehicles (gasoline, diesel, and electric), heavy-duty vehicles, non-road engines and equipment/vehicles, and commercial aircraft and marine engines.