CA 2035 Gas Car Ban Wins Approval, Other U.S. Zero Emission Vehicle  Programs, Bedford, MA Rotary Club Plants Pollinator Preservation Garden

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

CA Gov. Newsom wins ARB approval of 2035 gas car ban, plus other Zero Emission Vehicle programs around the good ol’ USA. Bedford, MA’s–classic Americana Rotary Club to plant pollinator preservation garden, defying stereotypes!



As reported in April by The Climate Daily, California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a ban on sales of all internal combustion vehicles in that state as of 2035. 

Last week, the California Air Resources Board agreed with his proposal and voted Thursday to require all new passenger cars and light trucks sold by 2035 to be zero-emission vehicles. The mandate will force automakers to phase out gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles in favor of cleaner battery or fuel-cell cars. Lauren Sanchez, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s climate advisor, said, “The mission is to “move the state away from oil.” 

The steps to 100% include a mandate that 35% or all new cars sold in the Golden State must be electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen-powered. By 2030, that percentage almost doubles to 68% before finally achieving 100% five years later. 

Will this really make a difference? After all, sales of used gas/diesel vehicles will not be banned, nor is there a requirement to retire existing internal combustion engine autos either. According to the CA Air Resources Boar, the move will yield a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from cars of more than 50% by 2040.

And why does it matter to us? Because CA is America’s largest market for  cars and trucks, by far. There are more autos in California than Texas and Florida combined. The sheer volume of new battery powered, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-powered cars sold in CA between now and 2035 will solidify that market, reduce the overall price of non-ICE vehicles, increase recharging infrastructure, and motivate other states to follow suit.

DEEPER DIVE:  US Car Registration By State, CA Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, IRA Federal EV Incentives 



We just talked about California adopting a Zero Emissions Vehicle program. But is it the only US state to do so? Thankfully, no. To date, 11 states plus the Golden State have adopted the ZEV Program. They include Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington State. 

Each ZEV program requires increasing sales of ZEVs over the next decade. Every state in the union offers some type of rebate or incentive. It may relate to a discount on one’s electric bill, to a rebate on installation of an EV home charger all the way up to incentives or rebates for purchase of a zero emissions vehicle.

Why does that matter to us?

The transportation sector became the largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2016. Driven by increased travel demand, low fuel prices, and urban sprawl, transportation emissions grew about 23 percent between 1990 to 2019. To change this trajectory, states have utilized several types of alternative vehicle policies including vehicle GHG emissions standards, zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandates, and financial incentives for purchasing alternative vehicles and building alternative vehicle infrastructure.

These policies incentivize the increased use of several types of alternative fuel vehicles including battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs), and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCEVs).

DEEPER DIVE: NCSL, Rebate Information, C2ES



A lovely story from Ami in Bedford, MA. Earlier this month, that town’s Conservation Commission gave the go-ahead to the Rotary Club of Bedford for the creation of a 400-square-foot pollinator preservation garden behind Veterans Memorial Park.

The site is at the northwest extremity of Page Field, within the buffer zone of the wetlands replication area known as Page Pond. Paula Gilarde, the club’s immediate past president and driver of the project, said the native plants planned for the rectangular area are designed to provide habitat and food for native bees, as well as “butterflies and other creatures.”

She told the commission during its virtual meeting, “The area, which now is neither cultivated nor mowed, is replete with invasive growth. Our goal is to return the land to what would have been there originally.” The Rotary Club has a list of plants that we will be working from, provided by a biology professor whose research specialties include bumblebee ecology.

Jeffrey Summers, the conservation administrator, stated, “I think it’s a great idea. What’s there now does not have a whole lot of habitat value. I really appreciate the initiative to do it.” If the section ultimately is neglected, he added, the worst-case scenario would be “what it is now.”

Commission Chair Steven Hagan added, “Good work by the Rotary and a great project for the town.”

Why does what the Bedford Rotary Club do matter to us? It’s in the quotes from local citizens. Lori Eggert said, “I can’t see a downside whatsoever.” Frank Richichi called this “a good demonstration project” for other areas in town. Stacey Katz added that it’s a model for homeowners as well. Deborah Edinger agreed, saying, “I hope this isn’t the only one.”

Project driver, Paula Gilarde said,  “A big part is going to be an educational tool with signage explaining what the plants are.” The signage will have QR codes to redirect people to get more information and hopefully that will encourage people to grow their own.”

DEEPER DIVE: Pollinator Parks, Bedford Rotary Club