Maybe this will tip the scale toward electric vehicles in the U.S., with California planning to eliminate the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state will act by having the California Air Resources Board develop regulations to mandate 100 percent of in-state sales of new cars and trucks to be zero emission in 15 years.
Granted, a lot can change by 2035, so whether this actually happens is far from certain. But it comes in a week when automaker Tesla claimed it will be able to sell a new electric vehicle for $25,000 within three years and Volkswagen said its ID4 EV will begin selling in the U.S. later this year with an optional lease of $379 per month and a 250-mile range.
On the battery side, while Tesla's Elon Musk backed away from speculation that he would make a big announcement on a new battery technology during an event this week, consultants with IHS Markit said on Sept. 23 that lithium-ion battery technology is advancing rapidly and that it will drop below the $100-per-kilowatt-hour milestone by 2023.
That will help in lowering the cost to buy EVs.
The average cost per battery has already dropped more than 80 percent since 2010, according to Sam Wilkinson, associate director of clean energy technology, IHS Markit.
So while California's plans to go internal combustion engine free by 2035 may sound like a dream, I wouldn't bet against it yet.