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Experts say California’s timeline to phase out gas cars is ‘not practical’

Experts aren’t so sure that California’s plan to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2035 is achievable and have signaled that the transition to EVs will be too expensive for customers.

Last month, the California Air Resources Board approved a rule requiring 100% of all new-car sales to be zero emissions by 2035. Other states have followed California’s example, as well as moves by both the European Parliament and Canada to reach similar goals.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said the $10 billion investment from the state to help accelerate the transition will make it “easier and cheaper for all Californians to purchase electric cars.”

Mark P. Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a faculty fellow at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, said the transition will be difficult and expensive for consumers, and the 2035 timeline is “not practical.”

Mills said that because existing gas cars will be allowed to be driven and resold under the plan, used car prices are likely to skyrocket. Meanwhile, the demand for EVs is expected to outpace supply, mostly related to the costs and ability to mine resources needed to make EV batteries, leading to higher prices for those as well.

“It’s just an observation of fact that the world is not making enough minerals, no matter how many factories you build,” he said.

Mills also has doubts that the transition to EVs will benefit the environment as much as some say. Mills points out that mines are located outside the United States, meaning an increase in exporting both jobs and pollution to other countries. Also, the mining industry uses oil and coal in its operations, meaning “the emissions you save by not driving a conventional car, half of them are wiped out just building the battery.”

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