The roar of the American muscle car may soon be relegated to the annals of history. California governor Jerry Brown is reportedly considering a ban on combustion engines.
Last year alone two million new vehicles were registered in the golden state, any such ban would likely force American automakers to comply with timelines set forth by Brown. If California chose to enact a specific date by which manufacturers had to comply it could prompt other states to enact similar measures.
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According to the report Brown was prompted to wonder why California wasn’t already pushing towards a ban on combustion engines when he learned of a similar initiative in China.
The Chinese government announced that it would effectively ban combustion engines in time, though it didn’t give any specifics on when that would happen. Also of note, concerning Chinese policy, is a Wall Street Journal article indicating that the country will soon relax specific rules requiring foreign automakers to work with a Chinese partner.
These moves could leave the door open for companies like Tesla to open plants in China, effectively lowering costs for consumers – but potentially taking jobs and tax dollars out of the US.
California has the opportunity to incentivize Tesla and other manufacturers to make their electric cars in the US by providing a drop-dead date for combustion engines.
Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, told Bloomberg:
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. We’re looking at that as a method of moving this discussion forward.
It’s painful for some of us to try and imagine a world where the wide-open sound of a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang’s engine as it tears through a quarter-mile has been banned. But it’s better than trying to imagine what happens if we don’t do something about our emissions problem in America.