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From Fuel To Electric


In August, California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) officially announced that the state will lead the charge on banning the sale and use of newly manufactured and current internal-combustion vehicles or cars that rely on emission fuels in the United States with Executive Order N-79-20.

The executive order was first mentioned and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 23, 2020 and California’s main goal with the recent law is to transition away from fossil fuels to help fight the current global warming crisis that has led to record heat in the state.

 California’s plan on accomplishing these goals is by making 35% of light-duty vehicles electric by 2026 and each year that number increases by 8% so by 2030 it will be around 68% and 100% for light-duty by 2035. 

The CARB will also ban the sale of new light-duty vehicles such as off-road vehicles, cars, trucks, and SUV’s so that they’ll be 100% zero-emission by 2035. In 2045 the goal is to stop the sale and operation of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles such as semi trucks and buses that run on gasoline and to make them 100% zero-emission. That same year there will be a full emissions ban on ALL vehicles which in turn will make the state 100% emissions free which will have major effects on students and teachers.

Auto tech teacher Greg Boswell, who has been teaching at Paso Robles High School since 2006, supports the direction the law is going towards, but thinks the goals set by California are unlikely.

The initial idea is the right thing to do, but I don’t know if we have the infrastructure to support it

Greg Boswell

California is lacking enough charging stations to meet the expectations, however the California Energy Commission (CEC) is expecting to receive 384 million dollars from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 to build more charging stations. This however will take some time, but it is estimated that they will have enough charging stations by 2024.

Boswell also mentions that students that are looking to drive or that are already driving should expect to see some changes such as prices. 

The difference in pricing of electric vehicles compared to their gasoline counterparts is very noticeable. In 2022 the average price for an electric vehicle is around $66K, while the average price for an emissions powered vehicle is near the $45K price range, but most high school students aren’t looking to buy a brand new car.

In the used market electric vehicles can average from $25K to $40K, gas powered vehicles on the other hand can go on average from $10K to $35K.

The transition from gas to electric is going to be rough for people that make low income each year for the next few years especially with prices seeming to rise every year. So until more affordable options are available on the market; students and teachers should prepare for the beating their pocketbooks are going to suffer for the very near future.

The future might also see the other 49 states in the U.S or possibly other country’s make changes in their automobile markets because of California’s new law. California is currently the United States’ largest automobile market. The state was ranked number one in the country in 2021 for car sales with $136.8 billion generated out of the estimated total of $1,165.4 billion in the U.S. That accounted for 11.74% of the nation’s car sales that same year, while the other four regions behind California (Texas, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania) accounted for 40.31% combined. If the state can pull off the transition from gas to electric, the rest of the country will follow as well. 

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