What to expect from California's ban on gas-powered cars (2023)

Last month, California regulators approved rules banning the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035, a move hailed as a significant victory in the fight against climate change. The Gazette spoke tohenry lee, director of the Harvard Kennedy School's Environment and Natural Resources Program and an expert on electric vehicles, about the decision. Lee said California stocks have challenges, but a turnaround in the nation's largest auto market has the potential to appeal to much of the country. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

questions and answers

henry lee

GAZETTE:What is the importance of this movement in the fight against climate change?

LEEWARD:The ultimate goal is to decarbonise the transport sector. That means passenger vehicles, cargo vehicles; that means ships, planes. The California rule is certainly a positive step, but what's interesting is that more and more consumers are asking for electric cars. Demand exceeds supply at this time.

GAZETTE:And that's with new vehicles coming to market that you might not consider electric, like Ford's F150 Lightning, with a few hundred thousand orders.

LEEWARD:An electric vehicle performs better than a gasoline vehicle, so it's not a hard sell. Concerns have always been, above all, range. My July trip is 500 miles and I'm afraid I'll run out of power halfway. Second: "Where am I going to load my car?" There's a lot of activity underway to address both of these concerns, so I think we're making good progress.

California took a big risk [in the 1990s] when it pushed for a certain percentage of cars sold in the state to be net zero emissions vehicles. A lot of people said, “California will never get there; his politics is simply aspirational.” But they have established a series of interactions between the government, automakers, academics and other interested parties to work on the technology. And they kept pushing and pushing.

GAZETTE:Do you expect other states to follow California's recent move and ban sales of gasoline-powered vehicles?

(Video) California approves ban on gas-powered vehicles by 2035

LEEWARD:I think so. There is some resistance to the switch to electric vehicles going too fast: perhaps we should look at other technologies such as fuel cells or more use of biofuels. But not all of these options get you to net zero, and we need to get to net zero faster than many people expect.

GAZETTE:What are the biggest obstacles facing California?

LEEWARD:The scale is really important. If no one you know has an electric car, think about things like range and lack of charging stations, and you're less likely to buy one. But if your neighbor to your left has an electric car and the neighbor to your right has an electric car and they love it, chances are you're looking at one when you're thinking about buying a new car. Then other people follow suit and get interested in EV snowballs.

Remember that we are talking about new cars sold in 2035. Cars last around 15 years;

GAZETTE:More cars on the road, therefore more charging stations. But who builds them? Is it a private industry or will it have to be supported by the government?

LEEWARD:There are three options. One of them is the private party. The second is that the government supports a private entity to do this. The third is that the government does it. I think the third would be a big mistake. Of the other two, I would normally go with the first one, private, because the system tends to work better that way. But if we have to switch to electric cars in a short time, the second will be your best option. There is $6 billion for charging infrastructure in the infrastructure bill, and I hope the government uses the money to encourage the private sector to set up and operate fast charging stations and encourage owners to install charging capacity for their cars. in their garages.

GAZETTE:What changes can be noticed in the coming years?

(Video) California banning new gas-powered cars by 2035

LEEWARD:You'll need fast charging on interstates and highways. Drivers will be willing to wait 10 to 15 minutes to charge up their car so they can drive another 200 miles. But if they have to wait much longer, they won't be happy. Billing economics is based on usage. If I have a fast charging station, I have to use my chargers at least 20% of the time if I want to break even. It's a bit like a chicken and egg problem. This is where the government can step in and say, "Look, we'll protect your bottom line for the first four years and then you're on your own." I think it would be an effective policy because it would allow usage rates to grow so the station could make a profit.

I don't think electricity supply is a big problem, but distribution is. Utility companies will have to install smart transformers in many neighborhoods. If 60% of the cars in a neighborhood are electric and they all get home at 7 am and start up, the transformers can't handle the increased demand. You need a smart transformer that can synchronize supply and demand and charge three of the cars between 7 p.m. m. and 10 p.m. m., then three more between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. m. and 1 a.m. m., three more between 1 a.m. m. and 4 a.m. m. and the last batch between 4 a.m. and 5 p.m. m. and 7 a.m. m.

GAZETTE:Will there be after effects of the California requirement?

LEEWARD:The technology we really need to accelerate is cheaper and more effective battery technology. If a vehicle can get the same amount of power from a smaller battery than from a larger one, it will save weight and space and improve the vehicle's range. Battery manufacturing also emits a lot of carbon, so we must work to reduce these emissions. Third, the batteries use a lot of nickel, cobalt and lithium, minerals that are very dirty to mine, especially the first two, and extremely dirty to process. There will be pressure to develop batteries that use less nickel, or no nickel, or no cobalt. Perhaps there is pressure to recycle lithium instead of opening new mines. Improving battery technology should be a major focus for both the public and private sectors.


What to expect from California's ban on gas-powered cars (1)

(Video) California’s Ban On Gas-Powered Vehicles By 2035

Battery advance for electric cars

Harvard researchers design stable, long-lasting solid-state lithium battery to solve 40-year problem

What to expect from California's ban on gas-powered cars (3)

Greener delivery?

Broader Opportunities Seen As Postal Service Looks To Improve By 9 MPG

(Video) California's Plan To Ban Sales On New Gas-Powered Cars By 2035 - Steve Forbes | What's Ahead| Forbes

The Daily Gazette

Sign up to receive daily emails with the latest news from Harvard.

(Video) The real problem with California's ban on gas-fueled cars


1. California expected to ban sale of gas-powered cars by 2035
(FOX 11 Los Angeles)
2. California Just Banned Gasoline Cars
(Scotty Kilmer)
3. California bans sale of new gas-powered cars
(Sky News Australia)
4. California bans gas cars: All new vehicles to be electric or hydrogen by 2035 • FRANCE 24 English
(FRANCE 24 English)
5. California regulator votes to ban sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035
(CBS News)
6. California ban on gas-powered cars will be harmful: Yesway advisor
(CNBC Television)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanial Hackett

Last Updated: 02/12/2023

Views: 5537

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanial Hackett

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: Apt. 935 264 Abshire Canyon, South Nerissachester, NM 01800

Phone: +9752624861224

Job: Forward Technology Assistant

Hobby: Listening to music, Shopping, Vacation, Baton twirling, Flower arranging, Blacksmithing, Do it yourself

Introduction: My name is Nathanial Hackett, I am a lovely, curious, smiling, lively, thoughtful, courageous, lively person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.