CARB's end game? Only zero-emission cars by 2030

State Aims To Have 3% Of New Cars Be Zero Emissions This Year

California drivers will have to change their car-buying behavior by quite a bit between 2025 and 2030 if California Air Resources Board (CARB) chief Mary Nichols gets her say. Nichols wants to make emissions-spewing vehicles almost completely off of the Golden State's roads in 15 years, Bloomberg News says in a feature on Nichols. In 2025, the state is looking for "just" 22 percent of its new cars to be battery-electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell. Five years later? Around 100 percent. That's a pretty dramatic change of habit in five years.

Nichols has been working with California Governor Jerry Brown for the better part of 40 years in a coordinated effort for California to lead the way when it comes to stricter emissions requirements. As it is, California has forced some automakers to reluctantly produce so-called "compliance" vehicles like the Fiat 500e and Honda Fit EV. Those cars are produced in relatively low quantities specifically to meet minimum zero-emissions vehicles requirements from the most populous US state.

For all of those efforts, the state is now considered a key cog in the machine that is getting automakers to meet the 54.5 miles per gallon Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandate for 2025 (which will be closer to 40 mpg in real-world mpg). This year, California is hoping for 2.7 percent of the vehicles sold in the state to be zero emissions.

Taking a look at the bigger picture, Brown is looking for the state to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, and is attempting to write such a mandate into law.

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