California’s Governor Jerry Brown has expressed interest in recent statements made by the Chinese government about banning the internal combustion engine. Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, told Bloomberg on Friday that the governor questioned why California couldn’t one day enact similar plans to China.
“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’” Nichols said, referring to China’s statements. “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California.”
She also said a ban would likely not be implemented for at least another decade. The ultimate goal is to completely phase out the internal combustion engine.
“To reach the ambitious levels of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we have to pretty much replace all combustion with some form of renewable energy by 2040 or 2050,” Nichols said. “We’re looking at that as a method of moving this discussion forward.”
The statements come after China joined efforts from Great Britain and France in taking steps toward banning the use of gasoline and diesel powered new vehicles. Although the country gave no timeline on when the ban would be implemented, China is one of the largest automotive markets and could one day mean a major change for global automotive sales.
Great Britain and France have committed to phasing out gas and diesel engines by 2040.
California would be the first state to enact a sweeping ban of internal combustion engines. Already, the state has passed legislation in an effort to cut 1990s-level carbon emissions by 2050.
For Tesla, this can only be seen as good news as more and more international and domestic governments begin to mull the environmental and financial benefits of moving toward electrification and renewable energy.