The State of California has announced they will halt the purchase of gas-powered sedans, and will also stop buying vehicles from any manufacturers who have not agreed to abide by the state’s rules regarding vehicle emissions.
In an emailed statement to CalMatters.org, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that “The state is finally making the smart move away from internal combustion engine sedans. Carmakers that have chosen to be on the wrong side of history will be on the losing end of California’s buying power.”
California purchased 2,672 vehicles for its Government fleet in 2018 according to the state’s Department of General Services.
The decision to exclusively purchase electric sedans from manufacturers who have come on board with California’s clean car rules will affect Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, and more than anyone, General Motors’ Chevrolet brand, who California bought more than $27 million worth of vehicles from in 2018. California has chosen to put their money where their mouth is by siding with carmakers who have intentions to contribute to creating a sustainable future.
This is an opportunity for electric car makers such as Tesla to work with California to secure a future that would include only vehicles produced by companies whose goal is to work toward environmental-consciousness. California is already home to many electric vehicles as a report from The Los Angeles Times published in September showed electric vehicle sales spiked 63.7% in the first half of the year, largely due to the nearly 33,000 Model 3s being sold in the state within this time frame.
While we do not know what electric vehicles California will utilize for its fleet, we do understand that the electric car manufacturer based in Silicon Valley has been and will help the state work toward a sustainable future, starting with its vehicles. If California decides to ultimately halt the purchase of petrol-powered trucks, sport utility vehicles, and semi-trucks as well, Tesla could provide its home state with some of its upcoming releases, like the Model Y, the soon-to-be-unveiled Cybertruck, and its Semi, a tractor-trailer that has already been purchased by Pepsi Co. for its Frito Lay plant in Modesto, CA.
The environmental impact of its vehicle fleet is extremely important to the state of California, and they are currently fighting with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) for rights to control its own rules regarding greenhouse gases.
California sued the EPA on November 15 and the NHTSA in September after the two agencies revoked the state’s rights to come up with and follow its own guidelines in terms of vehicle emissions. Supervising Attorney for UCLA’s Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic Julia Stein said “It certainly sends a strong message to the automakers that have come out on the other side of California in this litigation. It’s taking steps to encourage automakers to be on what it views as the right side of that dispute.”
California is making significant strides to create consequences for manufacturers who are choosing not to improve their vehicles by trying to reduce carbon emissions. The companies California have decided to cut ties with are all looking to side with the Trump Administration, which has made an attempt to eliminate the standards set by the Obama White House that were intended to cut the number of greenhouse gases emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere. Certainly, Tesla’s environmental goals match up with California’s intentions to become a more sustainable state. The electric car maker can contribute to a sustainable future if the state decides to invest in the company.