The idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.
This week’s recipient of Who Won the Week is the state of California. Why am I giving my home state this honor? Well, it’s because California is taking definitive action to do something about climate change.
Under a policy approved Thursday by regulators, the state seeks a dramatic cut in carbon emissions and an eventual end to gasoline-powered vehicles. California will require that all new cars, trucks and SUVs run on electricity or hydrogen by 2035. If the goal is reached, California would cut emissions from cars in half by 2040.
The rules mandate that 35% of the new cars sold be plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), EVs, or hydrogen fuel cell by 2026. That proportion will rise to 68% by 2030 and 100% by 2035. Californians will be able to keep driving gas-powered vehicles and buying used ones after 2035, but no new models would be sold in the state by that year.
This move gives the most populous U.S. state the world’s most stringent regulations for transitioning to electric vehicles. It is expected to prompt other states to follow California’s lead and to accelerate the production of zero-emission vehicles by automakers.
The policy still needs federal approval, but that’s considered very likely under Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration.
Reaching the 100% goal by 2035 will mean overcoming some very practical hurdles, most notably enough reliable power and charging stations. The state now has about 80,000 stations in public places, far short of the 250,000 it wants by 2025. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents many major car makers, warned about the lack of infrastructure, access to materials needed to make batteries, and supply chain issues as being among the challenges to meeting the state’s timeline.
You may recall that in 1961, President John F. Kennedy said, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” That goal was achieved in 1969.
Surely, if we could put a man on the moon in less than nine years, we can address the concerns of the auto industry and get enough public charging stations on the road to meet the needs of an all-electric vehicle state in twelve years.
What do you think of California’s move to electric vehicles by 2035? Too ambitious? Not ambitious enough? Not practical? Reasonable?
So who (or what) do you think won the week?
If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.