We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: electric cars are here to stay. And while the death knell of the internal combustion engine (ICE) has been tolling for a few years, last week’s announcement from California truly gave us a timeline. In 15 years, California will be an EV state, and the rest of the United States is sure to follow.

So what did California do?

Last week, Governor Newsom signed a new executive order on the hood of an electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. By 2035, all new passenger car sales must be zero-emissions vehicles. No more gas guzzling, carbon emitting new cars in California. And while this order will not affect cars already owned by Californians, is not an EV “Cash for Clunkers” program, and is only applicable in California, this order sets a new standard for automakers. The goal is no longer simply to reduce emissions or meet a certain efficiency standard. Now, all carmakers selling in California will design new technology and new models to meet the high expectations of future drivers.

New rules spur on creativity and innovation

The State of California has been influential in efficiency and emissions standards dating back decades. Even before the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, California was working to limit smog and vehicle pollution. With the success of Elon Musk and Tesla, every other carmaker is now taking electric cars seriously. While most of the “first generation” of electric cars produced since the 1990s had relatively short battery ranges below 100 miles, battery technology has advanced so much that range has already doubled in a few short years. Drivers asked, so the manufacturers designed cars that could go 200+ miles, with new eco-friendly interiors and new modular electric platforms. Even now, scientists are working towards developing batteries with a 400+ mile range and the ultimate “million mile battery” lifetime.

It’s the perfect time for electric vehicles

It’s no surprise that in 2020, California sets an ICE phase-out deadline. In the midst of pandemic shutdowns and raging wildfires, people around the world have witnessed the value of clean air. Surveys showed increased interest in EVs immediately after quarantines shut down traffic and global air pollution dropped. While many manufacturers around the world have decreased production capacity, their customers have continued to order new cars. In fact, last week when Volkswagen announced the launch of the ID.4, their first new EV for the US market, VW fans were so excited that the reservation website crashed. Today, Tesla announced its highest number of deliveries in a single quarter ever: 139,300 cars during Q3 of 2020. Drivers want electric cars, and they’re excited to order current and future models!

While the new gas car phase-outs are only officially in California, it’s clear that EVs are the future. As more carmakers design vehicles that fit California standards, residents of other states will reap the benefits of exciting technology. We can’t wait to see what comes next!

If you manage a commercial property, you may already have EVs in your parking lot. Contact your SemaConnect sales manager today to learn more about attracting new customers and preparing for the future with smart EV charging stations.