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California has released a timeline to achieve 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035. In a proposal, California Air Resources Board (CARB) has set an ambitious goal as early as 2026, reported by Automotive News.

This is after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reissued a waiver under the Clean Air Act in March, allowing California to set its own automotive sector rules and ZEV mandates.

To recall, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order in 2020 that requires all new passenger vehicles sold in the state to yield zero emissions by 2035 – all to combat climate change and its adverse effects.

New York has since joined the movement, announcing a similar mandate last year. Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) include battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

In the new timeline proposal, 35 percent of new vehicle sales in 2026 should be ZEVs, 68 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2035. To put things in perspective, 12.3 percent of California's new vehicle sales in 2021 are ZEVs.

CARB stipulates that initial savings for consumers will be nearly immediate, while cumulative savings will exceed $7,500 in 2035.

CARB also said that the regulations stated above should result in 1,272 fewer cardiopulmonary deaths, 208 fewer hospital admissions for cardiovascular illness, 249 fewer hospital admissions for respiratory illness, and 639 fewer emergency room visits for asthma. These figures are estimated to happen from 2026 to 2040 across California.

Moreover, CARB said that the new proposal should reduce overall costs for transportation in California. The estimated net cost savings is $81.8 billion or $5.9 billion on average per year, from 2026 to 2040. 

Automakers, through the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, said that California's proposal will require aggressive EV sales and commitment from federal, state, and local governments.

California's proposed regulations are more stringent than President Biden's nonbinding target of 50 percent EV sales for new vehicles by 2030. 

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