California’s climate change law is in limbo resulting in a proposed bill that will require 15 percent of all new vehicles sold in the state to be emissions-free within a decade.
Los Angeles Assembly woman Autumn Burke said she will introduce the bill this week and told the Associated Press that it will ramp up pressure on automakers.
Car companies that fail to sell enough vehicles to meet the new mandate would be required to make payments to competitors who do or pay a fine to the state.
The bill will require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to adopt a regulation by the end of next year to reach the 15 percent goal.
CARB has established a complex zero emission program that gives automakers flexibility in meeting sales targets.
Under current law, automakers accumulate credits for selling vehicles with cleaner technology and must hit annual targets. Vehicles with longer range get extra credit.
Currently, about four percent of cars sold in California are zero-emission models, but this system has produced a glut of credits.
“Governor (Jerry) Brown has set an ambitious goal of 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2025, but unless we take action, the state won’t come close to meeting this goal,” Burke said in a statement to Reuters.
“That’s why we need to reform the rules. This is about clean cars, not credits,” she said.
Burke’s proposal will set up a battle between powerful environmental groups and automakers in the final weeks of California’s legislative session.
If the bill is passed it will force car companies to build more emissions-free vehicles whether they be battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell, but it can’t force consumers to buy them.