SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Pumping the brakes on new gas car sales, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in an executive order Wednesday that if you want to buy a new car, you’ll have to go electric by 2035.
Currently, a small fraction of California’s 33 million registered vehicles are safe for the planet. According to the DMV, only 378,000 are electric.
Under Newsom’s plan, there may be fewer people at the pump in 15 years. While some drivers are not ready to switch gears just yet, experts believe this is a bright future ahead.
“I don’t know how that would work honestly, we will see I guess in 15 years,” Paul Mikhalev said.
The thought of no longer having to pump your car with gas is bringing a mixed reaction from drivers.
“It will be good for my kids but cost-wise it will be really bad. People can barely afford a car as is right now,” Mikhalev said.
Driver Patricia Johnson said she’d be willing to try it if it’s going to help the environment.
California is now the first state in the country to ban all new sales of gas-powered cars by 2035.
“To get to 100 percent carbon-free economy by 2045, we can’t get there unless we accelerate our efforts in the transportation sector,” Newsom said in a press conference Wednesday.
Those already driving electric vehicles are excited for the move.
“It’s like have a cell phone, you just charge it and that’s it. You don’t have to worry,” one driver said.
But, they caution other drivers on the downfalls of always having to power up.
“The biggest challenge I have faced with this electric vehicle is I can’t take it for the long ride,” Tesla driver Ragat Saha said.
CBS13 asked experts how much extra going electric could cost. Gil Tal, Director of Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Research at UC Davis believes with prices falling already, no gas cost and lower maintenance costs could actually save you money.
“We already see how battery prices are going down. In a couple of years from now, they will be cheaper than the small sedan,” Tal said.
But can the California energy grid handle a surge in EV use? California Independent System Operator (ISO) says it’s too early to tell. But Tal believes they could actually reduce oversupply.
“Electric cars, if we are doing it right, can actually be part of the solution. If you connect them to the grid in the right hours of the day, they can be storage,” Tal said.
A spokesperson for Cal ISO explained electric vehicles show a promising concept to reduce oversupply in the middle of the day when solar production is high.
The switch to EV is not going to happen overnight. Tal says only one to two million new cars are purchased every year, meaning it might take until 2045 to see an impact.