Gasoline Engines Banned In 2035
Governor Gavin Newsom of California announced that all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035. This would effectively ban new gasoline engines from being sold in the entire state of California. As we know with SMOG restrictions, California sets the bar, and manufacturers along with other states generally follow. Washington state has already made the same proclamation for the year 2030.
The debate over gasoline and electric vehicles is a deep one with many different viewpoints. In my mind, it’s not a simple black-and-white problem or solution. One good thing here right off the bat is this ban is just for new vehicles. That means our beloved classics can remain gasoline-burning machines; for now at least.
Almost 20 years ago I was a Drafter. My boss taught me an immense amount about drawing and made me an excellent Drafter. However, he was also very old school and really fought change. For example, his system was 20 years old when I was running the latest version of the program. We, as humans, avoid change. Secretly we crave normality and a routine. It helps center us in this crazy thing called life.
Change isn’t always a bad thing. Those that can embrace and adapt will go far. Let’s boil this down to cars a bit before getting back to this electric car debacle. In 1973 heavy SMOG regulations cracked down, along with skyrocketing gas prices, effectively killing the classic Muscle Car. The government didn’t let up on regulations and it took 20 years, but we started to go from 150HP Z/28 Camaros back to the same horsepower as their predecessors.
Now you can buy 9-Second cars off the showroom floor. Cars with over 700HP will get 20+MPG and never overheat with the air conditioning on! It’s quite amazing the amount of power these cars are able to pump out while still getting good MPG all while retaining all the creature comforts our classics don’t have. If it wasn’t for the government forcing OEMs to make better, cleaner engines we would probably never have gotten to the point we are today.
Electric Cars: The Perfect Solution?
Electric cars aren’t a perfect solution. Nobody ever said they were. But they are the solution that we have now. The government basically forcing the OEMs to go to that technology is what’s going to improve the electric cars to be better. Just like how we went from 150HP SBCs to 700HP LS, electric cars will go from 200-300 mile range to 2,000-3,000 mile range as well. If you throw enough money and resources at a problem, eventually it will be solved.
Even with the range limitations current electric vehicles have, most of us could drive an electric vehicle and be fine. There are not too many people who are commuting to and from work over 300 miles a day. Sure professional drivers wouldn’t be able to, but the average person could definitely use one. Even most professional drivers aren’t long-haul truckers and could recharge every night. Speaking of recharging, if you recharge at night when electricity demand is lower and therefore cheaper, you can charge these cars up for a few bucks.
Now there’s the argument that electric vehicles aren’t truly zero-emission. They have to get power from some source, correct? Well, coal definitely isn’t a clean source. However, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say one coal plant is going to be much more efficient at producing power than thousands of gasoline engines idling through traffic. Even then, there’s wind and solar power which could be viable solutions to push the envelope toward cleaner energy. I’m no scientist or Electrical Engineer – so I can only speculate here.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that eventually, it will only be electric vehicles being sold. Will that mean our precious gasoline engines will be banned as well? I’d like to think not. OEMs are already saying they won’t be making new gasoline engines. But I can build a completely new LS, SBC, BBC, etc. engine without a single OEM part on it. The aftermarket can supply us gasoline engines and parts. We already stock engine parts if you need them as well.
Let’s go with the worst case scenario that there can no longer be any gasoline engines on the road. I can tell you that I will gladly swap an electric motor into my classics if that’s the difference between being able to drive them or not driving them. Will it be the same experience? No. But I’d rather be able to still drive my classics than not at all.