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Ban of combustion vehicles in California

From 2035, the US state of California wants to ban the registration of new internal combustion vehicles. Unlike in European countries, where a date for the phase-out has also been set in many places, some motorbikes, among others, are also affected.

A new ordinance in the US state of California prohibits the registration of new vehicles with internal combustion engines from 2035 onwards. It explicitly mentions only passenger cars, but a footnote also mentions off-road vehicles. In California, these include many motorbikes such as enduros and crossers, but also quads such as ATVs and side-by-side vehicles. Since motorbikes are not directly mentioned in the ordinance, vehicles with a licence for the road should still be allowed with an internal combustion engine. In California, however, there are a great many off-road vehicles that are used on private land and therefore do not require registration. These would be affected by the ban. 10 years later, i.e. from the year 2045, medium-weight and heavy-duty trucks are then also to be marketed only electrically.

The new regulation puts pressure on dealers. Last year, the electric share of new vehicles in the USA was just 1.5%. Nevertheless, manufacturers have already shown that motorbikes and other off-road vehicles can also run on electric power. So within the 14 years to 2035, the switch should be quite possible.

The previous attempt to make the many motorbikes in the south-western state cleaner had failed. The introduction of green and red stickers was supposed to lead to the production of more low-emission vehicles, which would then receive the green sticker and be allowed to drive on Californian roads. However, instead more and more motorbikes were produced that only received the red sticker. They will only be allowed to travel off-road on private property from 2022.

The Californian governor Gavin Newsom considers the ban on internal combustion vehicles necessary in view of climate change, which already affects California severely. Every year, the state is threatened by droughts and forest fires. Sea level rise could also become a problem. California is far ahead in climate protection compared to other states. While former President Trump had still tried to take away the state's right to define its own, stricter air pollution standards, the governor will be able to expect much more support from the new President Biden.

Biden wants to promote e-mobility with around 174 billion dollars. Under him, more states could soon declare an end to internal combustion vehicles, and the end of the beloved combustion-engine-powered SUVs could come sooner than expected for many Americans.