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California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order – on the bonnet of a Ford Mustang Mach-E, as it happens – seeking to ban the sale of new internal combustion-engined (ICE) “passenger vehicles” in his state by 2035.

All “gas-powered cars and light trucks” sold in California from 2035 must be “zero-emission vehicles”, says the order. It does not prohibit the sale of used petrol- or diesel-powered cars or stop people from driving cars they already own. Buy a brand-new car in LA today, and it should still be perfectly legal to drive it down Sunset in 2036.

Gov. Newsom’s office claims transportation is to blame “for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80 per cent of smog-forming pollution and 95 per cent of toxic diesel emissions”.

Now he’s signed the order, California’s Air Resource Board will draw up regulations to prohibit the sale of new internal combustion-engined cars and light trucks in California from 2035. Meanwhile, all new “medium- and heavy-duty vehicles” will need to be zero-emission by 2045 “where feasible”.

The order also requires state agencies and the private sector “to accelerate deployment of affordable fuelling and charging options”.

A statement issued by the Governor’s office says that by the time the new rules come into effect, EVs will “almost certainly be cheaper and better than the traditional fossil fuel powered cars”, and that “the upfront cost of electric vehicles are projected to reach parity with conventional vehicles in just a matter of years”.

California joins 15 or so countries, including the UK, that have committed to halting sales of ICE cars.

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