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California mulls ban on gas- and diesel-powered cars

California mulls ban on gas- and diesel-powered cars

Golden State committing regulation-assisted fiscal suicide.

California’s soon-to be-former governor is scrambling to create a meaningful legacy as he prepares to leave  office in 2018.

Governor Jerry Brown has made international agreements related to climate change, continued to promote his super-expensive bullet train to nowhere, and called a large swath of the taxpayers in this state “troglodytes“.

Now, Brown has expressed interest in banning cars that burn fossil fuels.

“I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’” Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

California has, for years, pushed automakers to offer cars that produce no emissions, turning the state into the nation’s largest market for electric cars. It has not, however, proposed an outright ban on cars running on the internal combustion engine.

There is so much wrong with this plan, I hardly know where to start my engines. Most electricity stems from coal-burning plants, and what isn’t is in the state is often powered by hydroelectricity by dams that are crumbling. Then there are the environmental impacts from lithium mining to consider.

In a 2013 report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment program concluded that batteries using nickel and cobalt, like lithium-ion batteries, have the “highest potential for environmental impacts”. It cited negative consequences like mining, global warming, environmental pollution and human health impacts.

Furthermore, since everyone would be using batteries, then charging stations would have to be built to accommodate the need for electricity.

Before California becomes a cleaner state, it must consider the implications of moving towards an electric-centric transportation model, including greatly increasing the number of chargers found throughout the state, and determining how to provide ample destination charging in more congested areas. Some manufacturers are already looking to solve the problem of long charge times by investing in new battery technology, however the underlying charging problem in itself will be one that isn’t so easy to solve.

Finally, California is supposedly a major tourist destination. How is the state going to accommodate the gas-using visitors? If the gasoline stations can’t sell gas to anyone but visitors, it won’t make economic sense to stay open.

Of course, this eco-activist regulatory gem is an import. Chinese leaders said earlier this month they plan to phase out internal-combustion cars, without specifying exactly when. And the economic power-houses of The United Kingdom and France indicate they would ban such vehicles by 2040.

Auto industry analysts are quite skeptical.

Karl Brauer, an industry analyst with Kelley Blue Book in Southern California, dismissed Nichols’ prediction as simply unrealistic.

Electric cars “have come a long way” but still face enormous limitations, Brauer said. In particular, most vehicles can’t go much beyond 200 miles without having to be recharged, and having millions of cars on the road in California would simply overwhelm the available charging stations, he said. Brauer said he doesn’t expect that problem to be resolved for many years.

Automakers took a dim if somewhat measured view.

“We have been working with California on intelligent, market-based approaches to emissions reductions beyond 2025, and we hope that this doesn’t signal an abandonment of that position,” said John Bozzella, president of the Association of Global Automakers, in a prepared statement. “To reach our goals, we will need continued investment in new technologies, the infrastructure to support them, and, perhaps most importantly, consumers who will want to buy them.” The association represents foreign automakers’ U.S. divisions.

If and when electric cars become practical and cost-effective to drive, then Californians won’t have to be compelled to purchase them.

However, logic and reason have rarely been key components in California rule-making. It is difficult to see the Golden State commit regulatory-assisted fiscal suicide.


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God I hope they do it and do it soon!!

Subotai Bahadur | September 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm


Commerce and store logistics run on diesel. Trains run on diesel. Tourists cannot tour without diesel and gasoline. Y’all can starve and lose most of your tourist business. I’m in favor of it.

Brown was the first governor of any state to allow public sector unions, a development that is utterly destroying every blue state in the Union. That’s not enough of a legacy?

There are massive problems with this plan. I could write pages worth of arguments against this, but I’ll try to keep this short.

The main problem with all of this is the expense. Doing this is incredibly expensive. Charging stations aren’t cheap, but they’ll have to be put in everywhere (work, grocery stores, parking spaces, homes, apartments, condos, theme parks, etc.). It might be billions or trillions of dollars to do just that. In addition, more power plants will have to be built – a.k.a. more expense (billions/trillions).

There isn’t enough electrical power to handle millions of new vehicles plugged in. As such, certain times of day when people are charging, let’s say for example when they get home from work, everyone else will be charging at that time as well. Can you imagine how expensive the electrical bills will be? Will users be able to even run their A/C during that time?

How are those morning commutes in California? 2 hours? What happens when people’s cars die during that commute. You can’t just “fill them up” with battery power and keep going. It takes hours to charge these things. Sometimes as much as 12 hours.

And this is not to mention that to make the batteries for these cars it takes coal. Sweden has released information showing that every car that comes off the lot, with their batteries, has already used about 8 years worth of emissions already.

Europe has said they will do this by 2040, but even the Supreme Leader of Europe (Merkel) has backtracked slightly on this. She is currently pushing to invest and promote their automobile companies, which is where a lot of their money comes from.

I could go on and on. If California wants to do this, fine, but I hope the rest of the country stays out of it. We should be investing in all kinds of power. Going all-in on electric thinking that you’re being “green” is nonsense. A real scientist would tell you that.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Mr. Izz. | September 30, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Plus, manufacturing those batteries and then their disposal is EXTREMELY polluting with pollutants much more toxic than gas.

    Casey in reply to Mr. Izz. | September 30, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Can you imagine the brownouts they’ll experience when half the state tries to recharge their cars?

    There are chargers which act more quickly, but they’re a lot more expensive. Yet another infrastructure cost…

      Fiftycaltx in reply to Casey. | October 1, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Oh, and the entire grid, from whatever power source to the plug in the wall will have to be at least DOUBLED in capacity.. The home will have to have capacity to charge at least 2 cars so that is 200 amps more than now. And the power lines that feed the house will need more capacity and the transformers will have to be bigger. So good luck with that kalipornians. I would suggest strapping a bicycle to the roof of that prius in case you don’t like walking.

Let’s see – California, the state that had problems with electricity supply resulting in rolling blackouts and brownouts, is pushing to go hardcore, full-on electric cars, no exceptions. Yup, that will work out well – NOT.

Wake up, people – it’s not so much about the environment and clean air as it is about making people prisoners in their own homes. How long before they go full-on North Korea, where citizens have to get permission in order to travel more than a certain distance from their hometown? The progs probably have wet dreams about NK. Little wonder they’re so eager to trade Trump for Fat Boy Rocket Man.

Pretty sure I saw a satire piece about this some months ago. Is Jerry taking political queues from the Onion?

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | September 30, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Californians you need a Sanity Break today.

Knee Jerks – Intellectual Froglegs

I wonder how much Elon Musk donated to Comrade Brown’s election campaign?

Does the California high speed rail require diesel for the engines?

    pilgrim1949 in reply to TX-rifraph. | October 2, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I think each engine has a giant gerbil wheel inside of it with a meth-and-pixie-dust-infused unicorn galloping away in a manic blur of hooves.

    Or something like that…

When’s the date? I’ll buy a Subaru BRZ the night before and hide it next to one of the oil wells in Beverly Hills.

I propose a ban on Kamala, Pelosi and Moonbeam releasing CO2 and methane into the atmosphere.

Let us assume that California prohibits internal combustion cars in their state. You must buy and operate an electrical vehicle if you own one at all.

Now. What about out of state cars? What if (say) someone in Oregon wants to visit San Diego, or someone in Nevada has to attend a business convention in Sacramento? Do they stop at the border and get new cars? Do they purchase temporary tags? Will they be force to railway tickets?

More importantly, does California have the legal ability to regulate the transportation of another state?

This train of thought raises all sorts of delightful unanticipated consequences! {pops more popcorn}

    Milhouse in reply to Casey. | October 1, 2017 at 4:58 am

    Calm down. Nobody is even proposing banning normal cars from California’s roads. What they’re proposing is banning the sale of new cars in California. Some time later they might also phase out the registration of existing cars, which would mean Californians would have to get rid of theirs. Visitors would still be allowed to drive their cars in California, but they might have trouble finding a gas station to refuel.

How this will shake out: only government officials will have gas vehicles, as will corp execs.

The rest will have rickshaws.

This sounds like unconstitutional infringement on the freedom to travel: try getting out of California on a battery charge, however good battery technology is.

    There’s no constitutional right to be able to drive out of a state, let alone to do so without refuelling. That would put a limit on the size of a state. I’m sure there are places in Alaska from which it’s impossible to reach Canada on one tank of gas. And of course you can’t drive out of Hawaii no matter how big your tank is.

“Finally, California is supposedly a major tourist destination. How is the state going to accommodate the gas-using visitors? If the gasoline stations can’t sell gas to anyone but visitors, it won’t make economic sense to stay open.”

That’s easy. Don’t visit California. Problem solved.

I hope he succeeds; California deserves every tragedy he can throw a them!

What hypocrites, banning only fossil-fueled cars! If California were serious, it would ban ALL transport that runs on fossil fuels, including jet airliners.

Come on, Jerry, if state SUICIDE is your goal, half-measures won’t do!

A brilliant way to keep Californians in California.

Can we all stop trying to save California from the consequences of their actions? Let them pass whatever they want, then watch them crumble.

Alan Sherman in the 1960s sang a parody of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, called Smog Gets In Your Eyes. (Check YouTube)

Spoiler alert: last stanza

If they all drove a horse,
There’d be no smog of course,
But there’d be something worse (rhymed with “horse”)
In your eyes!

The whole proposal comes from a horse’s rear end (Gov. Moonbeam and his acolytes) and the pile it produces looks and smells the same.

California economics: crank your stationary bicycle to power a generator to charge the battery in your electric car.

Oh: you’d have to crank all night to generate enough power to travel a block in you car?

Solution 2: Demand-adjusted electric rates: rates go up as demand approaches maximum supply. So, plug in your car, find out how much it cost to charge it when the bill arrives. Oops, one day it cost $300. for a full charge?

Solution 3: Demand-adjusted electric rates plus rate-aware chargers. Oops: no go today, rates were too high.

Umm … rickshaws?