Understanding California’s EV Mandate
California has already begun its process of gradually electrifying the sales of all new vehicles sold in the state. With a goal of by the year 2025 all new cars and light trucks will be zero emission. There’s been a lot of conversation going on about what this all entails. Working in the auto shipping industry, I hear a lot of differing opinions. Some people have concerns, and some people are excited to see what the future has in store for this new mandate.
Clean air will benefit all, but what will it cost? How will this affect you as a resident of California? After doing more extensive research, I discovered different versions of this mandate are taking place in additional states in the U.S as well. Is your state being affected by this regulation?
EV Mandate Simplified
As stated above, California has a goal that by 2023 all new vehicle sales from automakers will be zero emission. This does not affect dealerships and the selling of used vehicles. This also does NOT impact existing vehicles on the road today. There is a schedule in play right now, outlining the timeline of this highly ambitious regulation.
The California Air Resources Board is already expecting to see huge changes by 2037. With an estimated reduction in smog-causing pollution as high as 25% and greenhouse gas emissions being cut by 50%. This is huge and can better the quality of air for the millions of California residents.
California is not the only state planning to adopt these new changes to regulate the sale of gas vehicles. New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania are just a few states following California’s vehicle mandate with their own set of rule makings. Visit the CA.GOV website for more detailed information on this, and to see if your state may be affected.
How this mandate will benefit CA residents
There are many benefits to this new mandate. The first (and most obvious), is cleaner air and less pollution. We will start to see less health issues and death caused by cardiovascular or respiratory illness. Sufferers of asthma and COPD will see a better quality of life and there will be fewer visits to the hospital and ER due to this. It is estimated this will save $13 billion in healthcare by the year 2040.
New warranties are being offered to ensure zero-emission vehicles hold their market value and quality. Residents may also qualify for tax credits up to $7,500 and different rebates for purchasing a new ZEV. Also, I don’t know if you’ve ever driven in CA, but the freeways can get pretty busy at times. Some qualifying electric cars are able to drive in the HOV (carpool) lane at any time. All you need is a “Clean Air Vehicle Sticker”.
Electric cars are generally cheaper to run and will save money overtime by not having to refuel with gas. Gas prices can be unaffordable for a lot of CA residents at times. ZEVs are known to have fewer mechanical problems and require less maintenance than gas vehicles, saving an estimated 40% on these types of costs.
California residents’ concerns
Although there are many positives to this mandate, there are negatives as well. And a lot of CA residents are concerned for this big change to occur. Most are mainly worried about affordability, also the misunderstanding that they are going to have to give away their already purchased gas vehicle. Previously owned gas vehicles will still be legal to drive, as stated above. Upon doing research, I read a lot of comments about how this will affect residents’ energy bills and the price of new vehicles inflating due to such a high demand.
Lower income families may be out priced and may not be able to afford a newer vehicle with them only being electric. Leaving them with no choice but to settle on a used gas vehicle.
Many people commute to work every day and are worried charging may be a hassle and take longer than pumping gas. The cost of replacement batteries are high and the longevity of ZEVs are up in air with them being fairly new. In addition, many people are worried this will lead to the ban of gas vehicles altogether.
Programs offered to help lower income homes
Can California’s energy grid handle the demand?
There is a lot of talk surrounding this topic. Will there even be enough electricity to power this mandate? There is a claim there will be no issue or strain on the grid, but with a whopping 15-fold increase in electric vehicles on the road this may not be realistic. On top of all the new ZEVs, there’s a sizable amount of wind and solar farms being produced at the same time. Sources insist the state must triple its power generation capacity to keep up.
There are fears of power outages during heat waves which in return may result in restrictions of energy use across the state. Drivers may only be allowed to charge their vehicles during specified hours of the day.
A great deal of preparation is required to meet the future electricity demands. Hopefully the state is on track to solving this issue and to reassure the millions of CA residents there is no concern.
How this affects automakers
Automakers will of course see a serious rise in ZEV sales. This, and the possibility of supply shortage may cause the price of electric vehicles to inflate. Automakers may have a hard time meeting these demands and some may have to completely restructure their image. Everyone opposed to the new electric movement might reject the whole idea of the company they rely on to make their gas and diesel vehicles, taking the dramatic switch to electric.
Automakers are spending billions on production of ZEV models and building plants exclusively for ZEVs. Thousands of white-collar jobs are being eliminated due to this. These companies are having to restructure their entire business costs and spend more money on getting more expensive resources and raw materials.
California’s EV mandate definitely has its pros and cons. A lot of people are misinformed and confused about what is being regulated. Doing research will help understand all the changes.
I talk to people every day in the auto shipping business looking to ship a gas or diesel vehicle they’ve sold or bought from California (due to replacing their car with a ZEV). We will most likely see an increase of this in the years to come. Furthermore, residents will be looking for better deals on EVs and may look out of state; resulting in them purchasing and shipping their vehicle from places other than California. This is eminent for the auto shipping business.
In the long run, I believe this will be a positive change for our future generations. I’m not sure how much this will affect gas and diesel drivers in the upcoming years, but it’s pivotal that we reduce our carbon footprint for the health of our planet.