The effects of climate change have been felt on the West Coast for the last ten years in the form of extreme weather events and unprecedented forest fire seasons. California and Washington state governments have responded to climate change by announcing gas vehicle bans that will come into effect as early as 2030. In 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom said he planned to aggressively move the state away from climate-changing fossil fuels while spurring both jobs and economic growth.
“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change. For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse – and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”Governor Gavin Newsom, Governor of California
The bans in both states will affect the sale of new passenger cars and light trucks under 8,500 lbs. This will affect some Class B motorhomes and possibly smaller Class C motorhomes. But, there aren’t all that many Class Bs and Cs under 8,500 lbs. 3/4 ton trucks and Class A RVs that run on gas or diesel will still be allowed at least until 2045. So far the new regulations are expected to decrease car and light truck emissions by a significant 50%. Click here to read the executive order. While Washington’s gas vehicle regulations are still being shaped at this time, their current proposals may be the strictest: They won’t even allow residents to buy new gas vehicles (2030 models or later) outside the state. How are these new regulations going to affect RVers?
Will You Be Able to Drive Your Rv in California or Washington?
It’s important to note that these laws affect the sale of NEW vehicles, not current ones. People will still be able to buy, sell, and drive gas or diesel-powered cars manufactured before 2030 in Washington and 2035 in California. To that effect, there will be no restrictions on driving through those states with an internal combustion engine (ICE)
Heavy-duty pickups won’t be affected until 2045. Although the legislation doesn’t expressly describe them, sales of new large ICE Class A RVs will probably be banned in 2045 too. However, the bans won’t prevent people from driving gas-powered vehicles.
What’s in Store?
As state governments move to make zero-emission electric vehicles feasible for drivers by providing funding and accessible charging stations, vehicle manufacturers of all types have been taking note. Chevrolet anticipates the availability of an all-electric Silverado in 2023. In 2022, Ford and Tesla introduced all-electric pickup trucks to a buying public eager to snap them up. It’s noteworthy that the 2022 Ford Lightning F150 pickup had over 100,000 preorders.
General Motors announced last year it will make only electric vehicles by 2035. Volkswagen has said 55% of its U.S. sales will be electric by 2030. Last month, Ford announced the company is on track to make more than 2 million electric vehicles by the end of 2026, and it plans to spend $50 billion on EVs by then.Paul Rogers. (August 25, 2022). Q&A: How will California’s ban on new gasoline cars affect me?
RV manufacturers have been toeing the waters of EV production to meet the ever-growing market for electric RVs. Hymer and Winnebago have introduced futuristic electric concept vehicles. Thor has also entered the EV space with the “Thor Vision Vehicle.”
Another interesting thing to note is that three all-electric semi trucks are coming to the market soon. Tesla claims they will roll out semi trucks with 500 miles of range by the end of 2022. Volvo Trucks and Nikola Inc. have also launched electric big-rigs and small commercial models with 350-mile capacities. As major RV manufacturers start to get their hands on larger electric chassis, we could see all-electric Class A motorhomes hitting the market within the next decade.
Would you be interested in an electric RV? Let us know in the comments.
Lynne Fedorick is a freelance writer with 35 years of RVing experience. She specializes in topics such as fulltime RV life, great destinations for RVers, RV organization, RV News, RV tech, and dog behavior/training.