Berkeley is considering a gradual phase-out of gas-powered vehicles by 2027 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly. The city council expects a feasibility study on January 19 before considering a law that will phase out 80% of natural gas, diesel, and gasoline vehicle sales.
Council member Kate Harrison is among those pushing for the ban. Harrison believes that the sales tax revenue will grow by having dealerships selling mostly electric vehicles, which could boost sales within the city limits.
According to Harrison, the ban is a realistic move towards a fossil-fuel-free future.
The city expects to convert its fleet of vehicles to all-electric.
According to a staff report, Berkeley will apply the ordinance on a staggered timeline. Vehicles valued more than $28,000 will be the first to go by 2025 and $23,000 by 2026. The rest of them will be phased out by 2027.
There is no timeline for when the city council will vote to ban gas-powered vehicles.
Berkley Has Been a Pioneer for Radical Environmental Policies
Berkley has never shied away from taking the lead in radical environmental policies, initiatives that have been adopted by numerous other cities across the country. Berkley banned installing natural gas lines in new homes, becoming the first city to do so in the United States.
In the same year, the city banned single-use disposables, requiring the food industry to use compostable utensils and packaging. Berkley was also among the first to introduce curbside recycling.
Following in the Footsteps of California
This comes after Govenor Gavin Newsom, announced plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. Newsom signed an executive order requiring all cars sold in California to be zero emissions, a category that includes hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and battery-powered electric vehicles.