California Gov. Newsom calls for 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035
09.25.2020 - by Noah Barnes
California Gov. Newsom calls for 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035

On Wednesday, September 23, California Governor Gavin Newsom took a huge step forward in the electric vehicle (EV) movement by calling for 100% of all new car sales to be zero-emission by 2035! Plug In America has been fighting for EVs for nearly 20 years, dating back to the days when a group of activists were fighting to save the EV1 and other early EVs from the crusher. Not long ago, we were simply pushing for EVs to merely exist as an option for consumers. The fact that the governor is calling for no more new gas cars in California in just 15 years is a major accomplishment.

However, there is still much work to be done. We will remain on the forefront of educating Americans about the many benefits of EVs, from cleaner air to cheaper fuel to a smoother ride. Now in its tenth year, National Drive Electric Week has been one of our most successful efforts, reaching over 100,000 attendees each year.

Our policy team will also continue working to ensure that this goal remains a priority for California and to ensure that other states and the federal government also enact similar measures to advance EV adoption.

Thank you to the tens of thousands of you who have talked to your friends and family about EVs, written and called your legislators, attended or created EV events, donated to Plug In America, and done so much to get more EVs on the road. The future really is electric!


Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America, issued the following statement:

“We are thrilled that Gov. Newsom is taking this decisive action to restrict new car sales to zero-emission vehicles in the next 15 years. California has been a leader in the shift to electric vehicles and this executive order will make the state the first in the nation to require that all new car sales be clean zero-emission vehicles.

“At a time when climate change is having a dramatic impact on Americans’ lives through wildfires, hurricanes, and other disasters, it is vital that we reduce our carbon emissions by shifting to clean plug-in vehicles. The actions taken in other countries to promote electric vehicles have shown that smart policies, like Gov. Newsom’s, are crucial to advancing this technology.

“Electric vehicles were developed in the United States and California is home to the world’s largest EV manufacturer. This action will ensure that the U.S. remains a leader in EV technology and manufacturing, creating good jobs for American workers.

“Electric vehicles are good for our environment, good for our economy, and good for consumers. This clearly lays down the marker that the future of transportation is electric. As we prepare to celebrate the 10th annual National Drive Electric Week, we applaud Gov. Newsom for taking this landmark step in the transition to clean electric vehicles.”

Photo: Brighter Every Day by Thomas Hawk is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

5 comments on “California Gov. Newsom calls for 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035”
  1. Stephen Russell says:

    Even Auto Club wont help, No mobile EV services from Auto Club statewide, nationwide
    Must remedy.
    No incentives to create carbon free for 2035 Unless Newsom CUTs regulations A-Z
    Seen No EVs rarely in Westways Auto Club magazine.
    apply nationwide.

    Urge PIA do:
    Survey on plan
    Poll EV drivers, users only
    make results Public

  2. Jay says:

    This is great for people that can afford new cars. Why punish the poor? Thats the problem with mandating everyone switch to the most up to date technology. I would rather see different ways to encourage people to switch to aid in getting everyone switched over. Charging in California is alresdy a nightmare. A lot is going to change in the next 15 years for this to be an okay transition for everyone. Hope the companies and people can keep up.

  3. Stephen Russell says:

    Barriers to plan:
    Local Zoning codes deter Commercial EV charging centers installed
    Power grid overload
    No incentives to buy EVs, other New or Used
    Range issues
    Seeing no signage denoting say Tesla Supercharging Center here at X anyplace
    None along CA frwy system
    None at Disneyland CA parking areas.
    & more & more

    Rethink, rebrand, retool

    Have ridden in Model S & love it.

  4. Stephen Russell says:


    NOT enough Commercial EV charging centers statewide & power to run.
    NO PR, ads etc for EVs nothing
    Nothing in local media about EVs
    No “dealer” ads etc
    Even No online ads.
    No national Drive electric Week ads
    Poor marketing, budgeting, planning.

    How can we achieve?
    Not enough EVs being made & then TOO high priced even a Used Tesla Model S I saw for 69K at a Subaru dealership some years back.
    NO Incentives aside tax rebates.
    No price wars for Used or New EVs
    No EV charging units at retail IE Malls, other locales.
    None near Frwy On/Off ramps

    How is one to achieve this ideal dream by 2035?
    Poor education on EVs for a market to grow.

    Or to probe EmRod wireless electricity Production Co. from NZ
    Or Wireless charging systems
    Nothing in CA visible

  5. Simon says:

    This is great. There’s going to be a lot of bellyaching about this from those too resistant to changing their fossil-fueled habits. Setting this goal is the only way to get the automobile industry to change their perspective and to raise the financing for the infrastructure we need. If the fires this year haven’t been a wake-up call for ICE car buyers then this is the only way. Government action is the only way we’re going to stop fossil fuels pushing everyone over the climate cliff. And people need to find out how much more fun EVs are!

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