Don’t panic, nobody’s coming to take your car. As Newsom’s executive order outlining the new rules notes, existing internal combustion vehicles will still be perfectly legal to own, operate, buy, and sell within the state. The new rules only apply to new vehicle sales. That includes cars, minivans and SUVs. The California Air Resources Board will also be tasked with drafting regulations to do the same with medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by 2045. Newsom’s office notes that transportation accounts for roughly half of the state’s carbon emissions and estimates that these new rules will reduce those emissions by 35 percent.
The move is the first of its kind for a US state, however it’s not an entirely unique idea. A dozen countries including the UK, Germany and India have all passed legislation to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2030 while Canada and France have established a goal of 2040.