California to Ban Internal Combustion-Engine Vehicles (Update)

UPDATE A reader writes, Dear, While I agree watching quiet electric cars race is boring, what is the solution then? If manufacturers stop participating in motorsports because they cannot use racing as a testbed for their electric motors and batteries, how will they survive without the tens of millions spent each year in say IndyCar? Dean Whittner

Dear Dean, A series like IndyCar is at a crossroads. They can adopt silent electric motors because that is what all cars will use some day. Then you will have a 'silent' Indy 500 in front of near empty grandstands. Or IndyCar can be smart.

All motorsports fans long for the days of screaming F1 engines. While F1 goes down the expensive hybrid engine path with high costs and microphones to artificially try to make them sound better, IndyCar can adopt screaming engines (get rid of the turbo so the engines scream – electric cars do not use turbos and the turbo business will eventually die) and become the new F1. You would see a huge increase in the popularity of IndyCar and current F1 race promoters will drop their F1 race when contracts expire and beg IndyCar for a date because that is what fans want to come and see – screaming race cars that make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. With full grandstands and high TV ratings, companies will want to sponsor the cars and the series, the paddock will be flush with money and the loss of manufacturer R&D money will be a distant memory. Mark C.

Stick a Fork in the internal combustion engine, it will soon be over
Stick a Fork in the internal combustion engine, it will soon be over


California is considering following China’s lead with a ban on internal combustion engines as a way to improve air quality and minimize emissions, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Governor Jerry Brown is interested in stopping sales of internal combustion vehicles, says California Air Resources Board chairman Mary Nichols.

Nichols noted that Governor Brown has questioned why California hasn’t gone forward with a plan to eventually ban internal combustion vehicles. “The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California," she told Bloomberg. Given the size of California, such a ban could disrupt the global auto industry. More than 2 million passenger vehicles were registered in California alone and a ban could force automakers to develop electric vehicles as the new standard form of transportation in the state.

The mental midgets who run motorsports and think they must be 'relevant' to passenger cars so they can feed at the trough of Manufacturer R&D budgets will soon be forced to switch to quiet and boring electric motors to stay relevant. Fans will stop watching and the series they manage will trend toward a zero fanbase.

California aims to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050 compared to 1990. Nichols tells Bloomberg that in order to meet that goal, the state needs to replace nearly all of its combustion vehicles with ones that use renewable energy sometime between 2040 and 2050. The state has the right to write its own pollution rules due to the 1970 Clear Air Act and waivers granted by the EPA.

However, due to the Trump administration being unlikely to approve its proposals, California would have to take a different legal route. One example Nichols gives is California could regulate the types of cars that can be registered in the state or have access to highways. “We certainly wouldn’t expect to get a waiver for that from the EPA," she told Bloomberg. “I think we would be looking at using some of our other authorities to get that result."

Other countries have announced the year when they are officially banning internal combustion engines. China will be the closest when it stops sales of polluting vehicles in 2030. France and the U.K. will follow 10 years later in 2040. Nichols didn’t specify when California expects to follow and concedes that it’s hard to tell when exactly it will happen; however, despite the difficulty to point out a target year, she believes that it’s possible. Bloomberg

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