My Car Quest

June 24, 2024

Editorial: The Internal Combustion Vehicle Ban Looms

Two US state Governors want to ban sales of new internal combustion cars by 2030 and 2035.

by Wallace Wyss –

I thought it was California’s self-aggrandising governor Gavin Newsom who first proposed banning new gasoline powered cars by the year 2030.

According to Politico on September 23, 2020,

The Democratic governor on Wednesday signed an executive order that directs the California Air Resources Board to establish regulations requiring that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California in 2035 be zero-emission vehicles.

But now I find Gov. Inslee of Washington state mentioned the same goal and timeline earlier. Back in 2019, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee released his presidential campaign’s ambitious blueprint for combating climate change, including a 2030 ban on the sale of new cars, light trucks and buses powered by gasoline, diesel or natural gas.

Both governors paint a pretty picture of what a serene smog-free world there will be when automakers are no longer allowed to sell new cars with gasoline burning engines in their State. But neither of them is shedding a tear for what businesses will go under if they achieve their goal. Gas stations for one. At this writing, electric cars make up less than 4% of the total new car market. But when they achieve a certain percentage of all electric cars, gas stations will start to die off from lack of business, unless each new gas station becomes a plug-in re-charging station for electric cars (in which case they will need a lot of parking space).

Girl at gas pump

A rare sight in the future.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

Then the legion of mechanics who kept the nation’s cars and trucks running will begin to retire and close their shops. Engine and transmission repairs on internal combustion cars are significantly more than the expenses for the rest of the car, so eliminate the internal combustion engine and you save a bunch on maintenance.

New car dealers will cease to exist. You can order the car on your computer and the autonomous ones will drive right up to your door reporting for duty. Tesla wanted to do this from Day One and had to fight to be allowed to sell in states like Michigan that require automakers to have dealerships. Rivian is fighting that battle in Michigan too.

And say goodbye to junkyards–the eco-types will point to those as a source that encourage owners of obsolete internal combustion cars to keep their cars running so of course they will be outlawed. Oh, there’s a few guys with 3D printers that can print replacement parts but few will have that machine.


What will really motivate more of the public to switch over to electric will be all sorts of incentives. In California right now you get to drive in a special lane on the freeway if you have an electric, hybrid or some other non polluter. Lane by lane they will squeeze out internal combustion cars.

It’ll be the same at parking lots. You want to park close to the stores at a shopping center? Sorry, bub, those first three rows are for non-internal combustion (dare I say geldings, stallions with their wedding tackle forcibly removed…). Then it will be four rows, yadda yadda.

It could even extend to colleges, banning say internal combustion cars on campuses. One thing all the eco-buffs never mention is how you charge your electric car if you live in an apartment where you can’t run a 150 ft, cord to your car? All the public funds spent on electric cars won’t help those who live in apartments, unless their employer makes it possible for them to charge at work.


Then the cruelest thing for us car enthusiasts will be the Huntdown of internal combustion cars, with rewards for their sighting and subsequent captures. Maybe like in the days when watching a hanging was still a public spectacle, they will destroy some of the rarer ones (in this case melting down or cutting them into pieces) on stage–I can see the ads now “Come see the tortured death of say, a Ferrari SWB 250GT.”

What will the diehard internal combustees (new word I had to coin) do? Maybe some will move to an island where internal combustion will still be permitted. They will be like horses. They are out there, just not used much for transportation (ah, for the good old days days when I rode one to town in Montana). Others will start a political movement with the slogan “Internal Combustion Cars Matter…”

When they start that, count me in…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 books about cars, all with internal combustion engines.




Editorial: The Internal Combustion Vehicle Ban Looms
Article Name
Editorial: The Internal Combustion Vehicle Ban Looms
The governor of California just signed an executive order that directs the California Air Resources Board to establish regulations requiring that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California in 2035 be zero-emission vehicles.


  1. My everyday driver is a 2013 WRX, During the summer, I enjoy a 1980 Porsche Targa with about 230 HP. My very first sportscar was a 1957 Triumph TR3 for which I paid $450. Now, at age seventy six I’m restoring it at a cost about 75 times what i originally paid for it. When I die, the Porsche goes to my son and the TR3 goes to my daughter. She lives in California where she can drive it all year long, unless it becomes illegal. It is more than sad to think my kids may not get to enjoy the two cars that i enjoy now. Hopefully, there will be an exemption for cars we have held dear to our hearts. .

  2. “From my cold dead hands”

    Which will probably be the case because I’ll be 83.

  3. Richard Bartholomew says

    From the Angels advocate: I think the brain cells in your head are internally combustING Wally. The world will be a better place when the common mode of transportation isn’t belching out tons of pollutants.
    Yes old cars are cool but some of them really stink and should actually only be static in a museum in my opinion. Definitely not on the roads in tens of thousands.
    Who said they can get rid of junk yards? NOBODY. Working towards zero emission vehicles is GOOD FOR EVERYONE..
    I think you are short sighted and forget all the times in your early adult life when you slipped on all the horse manure in the streets before there were cars. You only remember the good and none of the bad. Old style cars got rid of the manure and those cars will be replaced with better cleaner vehicles. It is inevitable.
    It is possible to leave a cleaner world for the future generations but you won’t get there by lying and trying to scare people.

  4. Robb Northrup says

    Well, a variety of opinions. Yes, we want cleaner cars. But…

    Has anyone addressed where all the electricity will come from in 2035? Sorry, but wind and solar power cannot make up the difference! California already has a power grid problem and can’t supply enough to meet current demands.. What will it be like in 2035? Electric cars running on electricity generated by hydrogen fuels cells (a la space craft) should be the goal. I worked as a tech writer for a company working on that in the late 1970s. It is possible. Not hybrids or chargeable electric vehicles…

    Forcing the issue the way California is will not make the transition smooth at all. And probably won’t result in the best solutions. We really need a PLAN that involves all parties, including the manufacturers. We need common sense. Not a a couple of states dictating policy.

    And, Richard, I don’t think we’re lying and trying to scare people. Just trying to see some common sense out there in the political world. Or, maybe that’s an oxymoron!

  5. Richard Bartholomew says

    Mandating we get there by 2035 is hardly forcing the issue when everyone is working towards it anyway. And it is just new cars then NOT taking all old ones off the road.
    More needs to be done besides the current governors pointing us that way, but it’s a start. Just saying they won’t have the best solutions because they aren’t smooth enough for you is based on nothing and a very vague statement.
    Do you really think Wally telling you they are taking lanes from you and junk yards away and making you park in the back of the lot isn’t just lying and scaring other old codgers? They probably don’t drive anymore anyway and just take his words as facts.
    Asking polluters to delay stopping the horrendous polluting is all you are asking for when you say work with manufacturers. I think you are archaic and standing in the way of progress, though you won’t win imho.

  6. Surprising how much we cherish our polluting engines, more than life itself?
    We had a good 120 year run with the gas powered engines. Sure they’ve been fun and have been a part of our entire lives but damn, when the the planet is at risk I’d think nostalgia would give way to intelligence. Kicking and screaming into the future is just a lot of wasted energy and precious time, which we haven’t much of. Eventually, restomodding your favorite classic car to an electric motor will be as ubiquitous as LS swaps are today. The next generation will decide what to do with them and that’s how this old world works.
    So for the next few decades, or so, keep polluting until you swap out to an electric motor, or expire.

  7. Have the politicians given any thought how they will satisfy the additional electric power generation that will be required to charge everybody’s electric cars? When that additional requirement is added to the growing power needs for current home and business electric needs and the growing power needs for personal electronic’s charging needs there most likely will be additional need for more power generation. With rolling brownouts in CA that has already becoming a crisis. The pollution that the advocates cite will most likely be offset by the additional power plants emissions. Most likely they will be coal or oil power plants because nuclear (while still one of most efficient options) has been decried as “dangerous”.

    But then most politicians don’t have a power plant in their backyard so it seems to be out of site/ out of mind/ out of policy.

  8. Thankfully my parents had the good sense to leave California, where I was born, and move back to Tucson in 1945 when I was four. From other comments I see I’m in similar age group to some.

    That being the case, I’ve often said, “It’s a good thing that we get old and die; one human being can only put up with so much of this crap.” Our offspring will adapt, never missing what we’ve enjoyed.

  9. California needs water, not electrical cars.

  10. So here are some questions I have:

    * California’s power grid cannot even keep up with current demand. If all vehicles are supposed to be electric in 15 years, will Newsom or future Governors allow new power plants to be built, and what about the pollution any new power plants generate? Will this new pollution offset pollution by the banned IC engines?

    * who is going to construct all of the charging stations needed to recharge all of the cars on the road and will there be a standard coupling all electric cars will use to recharge their batteries?

    * how about range? That is a huge issue for all electric cars now and forcing people to purchase an all electric vehicle in 2035 will be problematic if range is not addressed.

    * what happens to all of the batteries that are no longer viable? Waste disposal for batteries will be a very big issue for a waste disposal/toxics standpoint.

    * To make lithium ion batteries, mining of rare metals is required and those metals have a finite existence on earth like oil does. There is pollution associated with those mining practices and using underage labor in the foreign countries that control the rare earths needed. How will human rights issues be addressed?

    * One form of dictator will replace another. Those that control the oil will be replaced by those that control the rare earth materials needed for battery production.

  11. Wallace Wyss says

    Hey Richard,relax already, take a cool drink and calm down. I am not lying. The California governor , always preening as he announces yet another grandiose objective that will lead him to the White House, at first said 2030 now he’s back pedaling to 2035. I have a dreaded feeling this is a political football that will become enormous. Whole political parties will run on this. And if the electric car lobby wins, I can see bout 3-5 million leaving California by 2034 for more sensible States. And then the rest of the country will watch California die with brownouts, people dying because their home doesn’t have the electricity to work that heart machine.

    Remember Newsom is naïve he didn’t know there is no solar power generated during that condition we call “night,.” and had to call other states to borrow electricity for California recently

    For car lovers, we are the first generation where we can’t pass on our special cars to our children, unless they move to a State where there’s npt a grandstanding politician…

  12. Seriously? He doesn’t know about night? Sounds like your guy.

  13. Wayne Watkins says

    You cannot run an advanced civilised country on sunbeams and breezes . Those that say EV’s don’t pollute do not look at the broad picture in the production of those vehicles and the disposal of zillions of used volatile batteries .

  14. Zillions? I just can’t take you seriously. All I hear is “we can’t we can’t “, guess what? we will. Many think we have to. Like most big issues today I know that smarter people than me are making these decisions so I dont worry a bit about what I can’t change. I am sure that being anti-science is not the way forward.

  15. Wallace Wyss says

    Don’t hide frim the truth. You can find it on Google. It only took me 3 seconds to find the first article where Gov. Newsom frankly admits the state wasn’t prepared for temperatures as high as 130F. It is from the Aug. 17th Sacramento Bee .

    ‘Simply unacceptable.’ Gavin Newsom says California rolling blackouts can’t happen again
    AUGUST 17, 2020 02:25 PM , UPDATED AUGUST 17, 2020 03:43 PM

    I’ll quote just one paragraph–it’s way too long to offer here in its entirety.

    “A fundamental problem is that solar power, which was generating a quarter of the state’s supply early Monday afternoon, dissipates quickly as the sun goes down. The ISO is nudging the state to postpone the scheduled retirement of a collection of high-carbon gas-fired plants in Southern California.

    Overall, though, the ISO said it doesn’t want the state to backslide on its commitment to green energy. “We’re moving forward with a low-carbon grid,” said board member Mary Leslie.”

    So I say if electric car ownership i California goes to 40% by 2025, still 10 years short of his Absolute Ban against ICE, we’re gonna have to build electricity generating plants by the dozen to power them Oh, I know we can power them by moonbeams,,,

    • Wayne Watkins says

      Ha ha , moonbeams may help the sunbeams & breezes and the tooth fairy may also assist . Sorry Richard , I was exaggerating with zillions , but many millions or eventually billions of dangerous batteries going where ….. to landfill or France maybe ?

  16. Real world electric cars.

    I have a friend here in Tucson who drives Teslas. He bought a P80 in Seattle where he lived for a time before moving back here. A few years ago he invited me to a morning gathering of fellow Tesla owners where most of the conversation seemed to be plotting—err—planning how to drive from point A to point B without running out of juice. Lots of looking at smart phone apps for routes, supercharger locations, etc. After coffee, he let me take the wheel and I admit I was impressed with the seat-of-the-pants acceleration.

    Time has passed and he’s sold his house and is downsizing. Out is the P80 and in is a Model X. In a recent email he says:

    BTW don’t believe it when Tesla says the Model X can tow 5,000 lbs. Our nuCamp T@B 400 Boondock Lite (OK it is large for a “teardrop”) fully loaded is well under 4,000 lbs. In addition to dropping the range from 300+ miles to barely 100 miles, the car started developing serious vibrations. We’ve had the front axles replaced twice! Want to travel 140 miles to the next supercharger? Keep it under 45 mph… Still, we drove over 8,000 miles with it.

    He’s a better man than I. I used to tow a fifth-wheel about that size with a 3/4 ton 4X4 with a 454 cu-in engine and I was white-knuckled most of the time and I wasn’t having to worry about running out of propulsion.

  17. Wallace Wyss says

    You rarely hear Tesla owners confess to any flaw in their cars. It’s like they take a secret oath not to knock The Musk.
    I say any compromise you have to make in driving one compared to driving an internal combustion car should be known so demands can be made for Tesla to re-engineer the problem. My most vociferous criticism centers on the failure of their guidance system to detect white tractor trailers crossing their path. The trucks involved in the repeat accidents all had white trailers lacking any signage, The Teslas involved saw nothing and tried to drive under them. The result? At least one of the Tesla owners lost his head. Literally. But all were killed. But Tesla owners don’t want to hear about that and point to the millions of collective miles traveled by Tesla owners to minimize the danger. It reminds me of 737 Max engineers. Someone knew the blind spot in their system but didn’t speak up enough and there’s a whole cemetery full of people as a result of nobody speaking up. There’s many articles on it such as this one…

    Autopilot was active when a Tesla crashed into a truck, killing … › feds-autopilot-was-active-during-deadly-march-tesla-crash
    May 16, 2019 – The Tesla was moving at 68mph (110km/h) and slid under the truck’s trailer. The trailer sheared off the top of the car, killing Banner. … In May 2016, Joshua Brown was driving his Model S on another Florida highway when a semi truck … I’ve tried the lane-keeping for probably less than two hours, and it was …

  18. Wallace Wyss says

    Just to throw a few more lumps of coal at Tesla, the other day a large number of Tesla Model 3 carss in the country couldn’t be opened with their phone keys because somebody at HQ was messin’ with the software and didn’t get the update done fast enough. Once the owners got in, they could drive the car but it would scare me to own a car that some dimwit at HQ could shut off inadvertently.
    Here’s one article

    Tesla Owners Locked Out of Cars on Labor Day When Phone … › news › tesla-owners-locked-out-of-cars-phone-key
    Sep 3, 2019 – Tesla’s Phone Key app experienced a brief outage on Labor Day, locking some Tesla Model 3 owners out of their vehicles when they couldn’t …
    I send all the bad news on Tesla to my buddy Brian who is a tireless supporter of Tesla and already on his second one. But he never loses faith and the stock has gone up 400% since I first began sending him the brickbats.

  19. Wallace Wyss says

    You’re not man enough to own a brickbat (whatever that is…)

  20. GavGrewsome should channel more efforts into solving the homeless problem. If his handing of the bullet train project fiasco is any indication, the ICE (internal combustion engine) fans have nothing to worry about. In the meantime I think I’ll take another zing through the canyons…

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