The Golden State Goes Green

graphic by Alexandria Valencia

graphic by Alexandria Valencia

James Graham, Staffer

In Aug. of 2022, California’s Air Resources Board announced that the state would ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035, marking a significant boon for the goal of ending climate change in California and putting pressure on other states to adopt similar stances. According to the Board, the ban will result in a 50% reduction in pollution from cars by 2040. In addition, 15 other states have decided to commit to the same regulations as California concerning this issue. The ruling will be beneficial to stopping climate change and is a positive decision overall.


However, this controversial decision has its downsides. For example, the average electric vehicle (EV) costs about $18,000 more than the average gas-guzzler, according to U.S. News. Additionally, Kelley Blue Book notes that the average cost of an EV increased 3.1% more than that of a gas-powered car from April 2021 to April 2022. It’s true however that the cost of fuel and maintenance is much less for EVs, so the cost will even out over time, but the average electric vehicle still garners a hefty price of $66,000, according to Kelley Blue Book. This price discrepancy, along with the fact that Californians will soon be unable to purchase new gas-powered cars, means that many low-income residents will be unable to afford an EV. This results in a tough dilemma for California — how does the state make progress towards stopping climate change by making people buy electric cars, while also ensuring that poor residents aren’t left in the dust? 


Fortunately, there is a viable answer. California has developed programs that provide grants to help people purchase EVs. However, two of these organizations have already shut down and others are quickly running out of money, according to the Guardian. 


California should invest much more money into these programs and execute them properly if they want more people to switch to EVs. Additionally, making charging stations more prevalent and informing people that EVs aren’t that expensive in the long run are some ways to change the mindsets of Californians and increase sales of these greener vehicles.


It’s also important to realize that the problem of climate change won’t be solved just by switching to electric cars. Although electric cars do emit much less greenhouse gas than gas-powered cars, the cars still produce significant pollution just from manufacturing. Although the ban on gas-powered car production is a great start for California, the state should do more to help stop the effects of climate change, like creating more bike-friendly roads and rethinking public transportation.


California’s plan to end the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035 is realistic, but the state should do more to make EVs affordable for their citizens and think about additional ways to fight climate change, such as making cities bike-friendly and investing in public transport. By eliminating the emission of greenhouse gasses from vehicles, increasing green space, and decreasing the amount of cars on roads by consolidating transportation, California can lead the world into a new age.