California's New Zero Emission Vehicle Rules

September 1, 2022 2:51 PM
by Ariana Vito

On Thursday, August 25th, the California Air Resources Board voted on regulations to curb the sales of new gasoline cars. This ruling was in response to Governor Newsom’s executive order to require "100 percent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks to be zero-emission by 2035.” The new rule sets interim targets, requiring 35% of all new passenger vehicles sold by 2026 to be zero emission vehicles, and increases to 68% by 2030.

While California is the first in the nation to implement this type of strict regulations, the shift to zero emissions vehicles is occurring around the world. Countries are pledging to electrify their vehicle sales. With the increase in new electric vehicle models, mileage range, charging infrastructure, and gas prices, the sales of electric vehicles have been increasing over the years.

Santa Monica was an early supporter of electric vehicles, and installed the first public EV charging stations in the early 1990s. Council adopted an EV Action Plan in 2017, which aimed to expand the City’s public EV charging network and implement policies and programs to make it easier for residents to switch to EVs. The City now has more than 160 public chargers, with an additional 40 slated for later this year and in early 2023.

The focus on public charging is in recognition of the obstacles to charging for residents of multi-family buildings (apartments and condos with more than three or more units), which includes approximately 70% of residents. These barriers include limited electrical capacity, costly retrofits, and in some cases, no off-street parking. The City does offer rebates of up to $1,500 or $3,000 for low-income residents to install chargers through the Electrify Santa Monica Rebate Program.

New state building code requirements are increasing the required number of EV chargers in all new buildings beginning Jan. 1, 2023, and the City is going beyond these required with a proposed EV Charger Reach Code that will be considered by Council on September 27.

The private sector and utilities also play a key role in adding EV charging facilities to meet the growing demand as we see more EVs hitting the roads.

In Santa Monica and many other cities served by the Clean Power Alliance, nearly 100% of the power from EV chargers comes from clean, renewable sources (primarily solar and wind), supporting the critical shift to a carbon-free future. Clean Power Alliance is working to support energy demand and grid resiliency to accommodate the shift to zero emission vehicles with demand response programs, energy storage, and updating infrastructure.

Find more City resources related to EVs and EV charging here.

Authored By

Ariana Vito
Sustainability Analyst


Sustainability and the Environment