Story at a glance:

  • Governors are pushing Biden to ensure all new cars sold are zero-emission from 2035.
    • Some states have already signed legislation to ban the sale of new gasoline cars by 2030 and 2035.
    • Biden has signaled his support for electric cars and the boost it would give to the economy.

Governors from across the country are calling on President Biden to take federal action to ensure that all new cars and trucks sold are zero-emission by no later than 2035. 

In a letter last week, governors from 12 states outlined their support for Biden’s plan toward a sustainable future that would also create jobs — adding that phasing in zero-emission vehicles with “bold federal leadership”is a key part in achieving this goal.

The governors, from states including California, Maine and Hawaii, also detailed the action they’ve taken to ban or phase out cars with internal combustion engines.

Washington state created legislation that would ensure new car sales be only zero-emission vehicles from 2030, including those that are imported. The bill has moved to Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) desk, The Guardian reported. 


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It is the first time a state has passed a law aimed at phasing out polluting vehicles, creating national momentum for other lawmakers to follow, The Guardian adds. 

Gavin Newsom of California signed an executive order banning the sale of new gasoline cars from 2035. And New York’s legislature passed a similar directive: 100 percent of new car sales are electric by 2035, and new trucks will have to follow the same in 2045.

The Biden administration could set vehicle admission standards under the Clean Air Act that only the electric cars could meet, The Guardian reports. Further, the EPA is preparing to introduce new rules for cars and trucks in July to undo low pollution standards set under the Trump administration. 

“I would love to see President Biden set a goal of 60% of sales to be electric cars by 2030, before all electric sales in 2035,” Margo Oge, a former director of transportation air quality at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told The Guardian. “We can’t wait any longer, we have run out of time with climate change and we need car companies to start making that transformation now.”

Biden already shares the same sentiment with the governors.

“[There’s] no reason why American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries,” the president said.

Biden’s plans on ushering in new innovative ways to expand renewable energy and electric vehicles, which he promises will bring in millions of new jobs. However rust belt states take some issues with Biden’s new approach, seeing how traditional engineering is the core of their economy.

“Squirrels can make electric cars and squirrels can maintain them,” Robin Chase, an environmentalist and co-founder of car sharing company Zipcar said. Chase explained how easy it would be to manufacture electric cars, which requires a third less workers than their traditional counterparts. The United Auto Works Union added that there is “not a one-size-fits-all solution or timeline and policies must provide sufficient flexibility and avoid unrealistic mandates.”


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Published on Apr 30, 2021