Starting in 2030 California will require all light, self-driving vehicles operating in the state to emit zero emissions, as the SB 500 was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, and the SB 500 represents the latest effort by the state to limit the sale of internal combustion vehicles. With a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Engadget reported.
In 2020 Newsom signed an executive order effectively banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035, and that same year the state’s Board of Air Resources passed a ruling that all new trucks sold in California will emit zero emissions by 2045.
“We are grateful for Californias leadership in ensuring that this is the industry standard,” Prashanthi Raman, Cruise’s head of global government affairs, was quoted as saying by Engadget. “The spacecraft industry is poised to lead the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in cities, which is why we’ve operated an all-electric, zero-emissions fleet from the start.” Cruise has supported the SB 500 through its engagement with the Emission Zero Coalition, a group that also includes self-delivery startup Nuro.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector has been the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States since 2019, with light vehicles accounting for more than half of that output. However, autonomous vehicles currently represent only a tiny fraction of the approximately 15 million vehicles on Californias roads.
Moreover, Cruise and Waymo, two of the leading companies testing fully autonomous taxi services in the state, use fleets made almost exclusively of electric and hybrid vehicles.
And this latest move from California is about preventing self-driving cars from becoming a major polluter in the future, particularly if driverless taxi services become commonplace among passengers.