California makes zero-emission autonomous vehicles mandatory by 2030 - Start Up Gazzete
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California makes zero-emission autonomous vehicles mandatory by 2030


Starting in 2030, California will require all light autonomous vehicles operating in the state to emit zero emissions. Enacted by Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday, SB 500 represents the state’s latest effort to limit the sale of new internal combustion vehicles in an effort to reduce greenhouse emissions. In 2020, Newsom signed an executive order that effectively banned the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2035. That same year, the state Air Resources Board mandated that all new trucks sold in California be zero-emission by 2045.


“We are grateful for California’s leadership to ensure that this is the industry standard,” said Prashanthi Raman, Cruise’s head of global government affairs, in a statement to Engadget. “The AV industry is poised to lead the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in cities, and that is why we have operated a zero-emission, all-electric fleet from the start.” Cruise endorsed SB 500 through its involvement with the Zero Emissions Coalition, a group that also includes autonomous delivery startup Nuro.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector has been the largest source of greenhouse emissions in the United States since 2019, with light vehicles accounting for more than half of that production. Yet self-driving cars currently represent only a small fraction of the nearly 15 million vehicles on California’s roads. Additionally, both Cruise and Waymo, two of the most prominent companies testing fully autonomous taxi services in the state, use fleets made almost exclusively of electric and hybrid vehicles. This latest California move is about preventing autonomous vehicles from becoming big polluters in the future, particularly if driverless taxi services become popular with commuters.

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Joshua Smith

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