California 2035: 100% EV; 0% ICE Vehicle Sales

By: Mohammad Vakili

On September 23, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom of California signed executive order

N-79-20 that would require the elimination of Internal Combustion Engine, ICE, by 2035. All new passenger cars and light trucks sold in California must meet Zero Emissions. Vehicles sold may be Electric, Hydrogen Cell operated or Hybrid. On August 25, 2022, California Air Resources Board, CARB approved the trailblazing Clean Car Act II leading the way to cleaner air quality over a period starting in 2026 through 2035 timeframe.

Sales of ZEVs, Zero Emissions Vehicles would start at 35% in 2026 to 100% in 2035:

Chart ZEV & PHEV Percentage of New Vehicle Sales
Source: California Air Resources Board, CARB

Plug-in hybrid, full battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles count toward an automaker’s requirement. The requirements apply to car makers but not auto dealers. It also does not apply to vehicles on the road today or in existence in 2035. The deadline for heavy duty vehicles is not until 2045. When fully implemented, the act will reduce Green House Gas, GHG, and hence smog, by 25% in California. The regulation is estimated to save California $13B on health avoidance expenses. There are 17 states who follow California’s auto regulations; together they are responsible for 40% of the total vehicles sold in the United States. The California ruling is still subject to EPA approval which appears to be all but certain.

The UK has already adopted a similar goal. The EU is following suit. California has the most charging infrastructure in the nation. EVs largest market is already in California accounting for nearly 15% of all new car sales in the Golden State. EVs are typically more expensive than the traditional ICE vehicles, hence making it unaffordable for low-income people living in California. The problem seems to have been understood by Gov. Newsom who has allocated some $2B to the overall project, a bulk of which is to help low-income residents qualify to purchase or lease new or used Electric Vehicles. Another portion of this money goes toward building charging stations where currently not readily available.

In 2019 some 17M vehicles sold in the United States. That number was down in both 2020 and 2021 mostly due to Covid. Let’s not get into the 276M registered vehicles currently in the US and focus on changes that may come about as a result of 40 percent of the new car and light truck market. Nearly all EVs or PHEVs but not traditional ICE. Typical Electric Vehicle brake pads last five times as much as the traditional Internal Combustion Engine car. Does that mean the brake friction replacement market would be adversely affected by a factor of five? Time will tell.

Mohammad Vakili has been in the Friction related technology for over four decades. He holds a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from U. Mass. He is the Founder and one of the instructors in Brake Academy.

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