By Dveen Hagopian
Governor Gavin Newsom of California signed an executive order in September that will require all cars sold in California after 2035 to be electric vehicles. The production of gas-fueled cars will be banned by 2035, although people will still be allowed to drive and sell any gas cars they have purchased before then.
Rather than running on gas, electric cars run on an electric motor, which is powered by rechargeable batteries. Gas cars, on the other hand, have a spark-ignited internal combustion engine that uses gas as fuel, igniting a spark in the engine when it is combined with air. This means that gas car owners must frequently fill their gas tanks in order to keep their car running, whereas electric car owners only have to plug their car into a charging point, which is connected to an electrical grid.
One of the primary differences that separate gas cars from electric cars is the emissions they produce. While electric cars produce no direct emissions, gas-powered cars release toxic pollutants that are harmful to both human health and the environment. Some of these toxins include smog-forming pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, as well as greenhouse gases, which mostly consist of carbon dioxide. When these pollutants and gases are released into the air, they contribute to a number of detrimental consequences.
First of all, they are harmful for humans and animals to breathe in, and they can lead to severe health problems such as heart problems or lung cancer. In addition, the smog that is produced from these toxins contributes to air pollution and is very harmful to wildlife.
Lastly, and perhaps the most alarming, the greenhouse gases that are released into the air play a major role in climate change and global warming. This is because the released greenhouse gases build up in the atmosphere and trap heat in, causing Earth’s temperature to rise. This creates an unnaturally warm environment, which then leads to melting glaciers, increased wildfires, and many more environmental consequences that pose a threat to both humans and wildlife. Climate change rates have been rapidly increasing over time, and the abundance of gas cars is a huge contributing factor to this. In fact, one-fifth of global warming pollution in the United States comes from emissions by gas-fueled vehicles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
For these reasons, electric cars are much more environmentally and socially friendly than gas cars.
Being the most populated state in the country, California is also the most polluted, according to the American Lung Association. This is largely due to the fact that many California residents drive their own cars on a daily basis, rather than using public transportation, bike riding, or even walking to get to their destination. Since there are approximately 39 million people living in California, according to the United States Census Bureau, this equates to an extremely large amount of cars being driven. This is why it is so important to ensure that these cars are as environmentally friendly as possible, which is exactly what Governor Newsom’s bill is supposed to do.
The switch to electric cars will help both the environment and overall human health as pollution rates will drop, smog will likely clear, and the state of California will contribute a little less to global warming. However, climate change will, without a doubt, remain a pressing issue.
Although 2035 may seem far away, it still is fairly close considering how groundbreaking the bill truly is. Car manufacturers will soon have to switch to producing only electric cars, which will undoubtedly be difficult, but this is a step in the right direction and will expectantly have a positive outcome.
Newsom’s bill will likely help California progress into an environmentally conscious community, and hopefully other states will soon follow.