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Power Transportation China

California Considers Banning Internal Combustion Engines To Meet Emissions Goals (sacbee.com) 503

New submitter Rick Schumann writes about California considering a ban on internal combustion engines: The ban on internal-combustion engine automobiles would be at least 10 years away, and it's unclear at this early stage if it would ban only sales and use of new cars, or ban existing cars as well. There's also no mention of two (or three) wheeled vehicles at this stage. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is nevertheless considering this seriously, in order to meet its ambitious emissions reduction goals. According to state data, tailpipes generate more than one-third of all greenhouse gases, and so far only a small fraction of California's motorists drive electric vehicles. The announcement was made in an interview with Bloomberg news. "I've gotten messages from the governor asking, 'Why haven't we done something already?' The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California," Mary Nichols, the chairwoman of the CARB, told Bloomberg.
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California Considers Banning Internal Combustion Engines To Meet Emissions Goals

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  • License them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @08:32PM (#55273743) Homepage

    Banning is asking for trouble from the right.

    Much smarter to simply put a 100% tax on them. You want to buy an internal combustion vehicle? If you want it badly enough PAY for it.

    If you aren't willing to pay the money then buy electric.

    Also, you don't have to deal with some agency deciding who is truly in need of an internal combustion error. People that use powered parachutes, or four wheel drive vehicles for people that live in the middle of a national forest with no electricity for miles.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Holy crap dude...We're talking California here the Utopia of 'leftist ideals' in the US...you want to see a war start, just trying banning ICE in California...Have you ever been in the Los Angeles or San Francisco area? Getting all Californian's to replace their ICE with Electric in 20 years isn't going to happen much less 10, the leftist may go along with a ban because you know...they're stupid...but when it comes time to giving their ICE car up they'll be protesting in the streets (the other thing the lef

    • All that does is make it so that the well-off can drive whatever they want and that you needlessly restrict what the Rest of Us drive.

      If it can't cause pain for policymakers, then it's a non-starter.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I have a feeling that a 100% tax might anger the right as well... I'd also rather have a government agency deciding what is a reasonable requirement for a licence to pollute and damage health than simply making it a privilege of the rich.

      The real goal of setting a ban date a decade or two in the future is to encourage manufacturers to switch faster. If they know that some big markets are going to lock them out unless they produce some good EVs they will make more effort to develop them.

      Look at how many Euro

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @08:33PM (#55273747)
    like it or not electrics are a lot more expensive up front. They tightened their emissions rules on long haul trucks without tightening labor regulations and the result was desperate truckers forced into "leases" for new trucks where they worked for pennies a week and eventually gave the truck (and all the lease payments) to the company owner.

    This is all well and good only if it's followed by worker protections. My question is, is this actual progressive policy or a bunch of rich people that just want clean air for themselves? For the truckers it was the latter.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pfhorrest ( 545131 )

      I wish I had mod points because I was going to say exactly the same thing.

      Also, with the California cost of living, the vast majority of people here are house poor, and having to buy any new vehicle at all, never mind a fancy high tech new vehicle, is a burden that would force them to choose between carlessness = joblessness = homelessness, or else not paying their rent = homelessness anyway.

    • like it or not electrics are a lot more expensive up front.

      Are they? I don't know, but what I do know is that all the costs for Electric are on the sticker price, whereas ICE vehicles get a free ride by externalising their dumping costs. ie how much would an ICE car cost if you had to collect all of your own exhaust and dump it somewhere safely?

      Current death rates due to air pollution (caused mostly by burning fossil fuels) is around 7 million lives per year, almost WW2-like numbers How much would that add to the sticker price of each vehicle if it had to be incl

    • I'm going to guess the working poor are not in the market for a new car.

      There's this thing called attrition. It's a great way of changing things without affecting the working poor, and that's how pretty much all these laws being proposed work.

      Except in the Netherlands, we actively ban piece of shit in the cities.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The electronics are much cheaper than a combustion engine. Aside from not needing a complex combustion system with emission controls, there is also no gearbox or exhaust etc.

      The only reason they are more expensive is the battery pack. As production ramps up costs will fall. They are already falling incredibly fast. In the space of about 6 years we have doubled range for the same price, and we are only really at the start of the big increases in production capacity and demand.

  • Can China do this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zobeid ( 314469 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @08:37PM (#55273757)

    quote: "The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California."

    So far the Chinese have shown that they can *talk* about banning combustion cars, not that they can actually make it work.

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @08:51PM (#55273811) Journal
      Well, let me tell you, Governor Brown will show you, that California will spare no expense, leave no stone unturned, to narrow the gap when it comes to talking about banning combustion cars!
    • And, of course, the answer "because they are a totalitarian communist society" isn't good enough.

      Maybe Moonbeam's next suggested ban will be on couples having more than one child? China did it, why can't California?

    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @03:47AM (#55275107)

      So far the Chinese have shown that they can *talk* about banning combustion cars, not that they can actually make it work.

      When we talk about China we always talk about the next thing China is talking about, without looking at what they have achieved in the past.

      While we claim they are all talk, they are the biggest electric car market in the world and the rate of increase in the market has in the past 2 years surpassed the entire rest of the world. The USA talks about things and then generally plods slowly in that direction, spending more energy bickering about it in the government than actually instigating change. China on the other hand has a steady record of making a decision (often a questionable decision) and then plowing full steam ahead to achieve it.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Nope, China has massively developed its EV infrastructure and sales. Over 80% of new busses in China are electric now, with it expected to hit nearly 100% by 2020, for example. They have built the world's largest network of chargers too.

      Just limiting your comparison to when they plan to ban ICE is cherry-picking. Bans are not the only effort being made, or even the most effective, or necessarily suited to a country like China.

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @08:49PM (#55273799)

    First thing to bear in mind, banning all combustion-engine-powered cars would be an absolute nonstarter. There are a number of groups that would absolutely band-together to lobby against it, even if those groups that may not normally have a lot to do with each other (enthusiasts for horseless-carriage-era cars and modern auto manufacturers for example) would immediately find common ground to coordinate efforts.

    Second, there are classes of vehicles and types of use that do not readily lend themselves to electric use. In particular vehicles designed for heavy offroad use would not make for good electrics when they go places that the electric grid doesn't service, and the mass-penalty in carrying batteries would be a problem for offroad performance. Additionally many commercial-service vehicles would make poor electrics if their daily range far exceeds what a charge can provide, as commercial vehicles might not even have opportunity to charge at their destinations.

    Realistically, passenger cars that are not primarily geared toward commercial use would be the best application for electric adoption. Roads are built close to infrastructure and are themselves infrastructure, so recharging cars is practical or can be made practical. Additionally, when the entry-level electric car has a range equivalent to half a tank of gas, which is usually 100-150 miles, suddenly it becomes practical for most commuters for their daily use. Sure, some people do drive more than that in a given day, but most do not, so most people could make that kind of range work for them.

    In addition to passenger cars, many 2wd commercial chassis would be designed with an electric option. While a lot of commercial vehicles would not be suitable as electrics, plenty more would be. It is not unrealistic that delivery vans could be made electric if their routes are sufficiently short, and personal-use "lifestyle" 2wd pickups could also make for good electrics when they're used similarly to passenger cars for things like commuting.

    I expect that small and mid-sized sedans would be all-electric first. Small cars are usually least likely to be used for passenger livery, and mid-size sedans are extremely popular and the number of sales would make quite a dent in gasoline power. Large sedans would probably follow last since they're often used for police and passenger livery, and they may well always have a gasoline variant. Once these prove popular and successful then we might see coupes and sports cars work as popular electrics, and eventually trucks, vans, and other chassis.

    • Yeah, if you have a commuter vehicle, there are no downsides to making it electric. It's quieter, gas mileage is better, and performance is better. Once the price is right, you won't even need to ban combustion cars, people won't want them.
    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @09:51PM (#55274047)

      I expect that small and mid-sized sedans would be all-electric first.

      The problem is these are not the vehicles producing the emissions. The whole thing stems from MPG being the inverse of fuel consumption. People see the big MPG number from a fuel-efficient vehicle and think they're making a big difference in fuel consumption. It's actually the opposite - the bigger the MPG of a vehicle, the smaller the impact it has on overall consumption and emissions. Switching from a 25 MPG sedan to a 50 MPG Prius results in less fuel savings (and thus less emissions reduction) than someone switching from a 15 MPG full-size SUV to a 25 MPG large sedan. Yes, that 10 MPG improvement results in more fuel savings and more emissions reduction than the Prius' 25 MPG improvement.

      15 MPG = 6.67 gallons to drive 100 miles
      25 MPG = 4 gallons to drive 100 miles, a 2.67 gallon improvement
      50 MPG = 2 gallons to drive 100 miles, only a 2 gallon improvement

      Because MPG is the inverse of fuel consumption, it's 1/MPG which is the important value. And the bigger MPG values mean less incremental fuel savings. The rest of the world uses liters per 100 km to avoid this problem. For some reason it's backwards in the U.S., and marketing has abused it to make people feel good about buying a Prius when it's about the smallest difference you can make in terms of driving.

      You know how environmentalists scoffed at hybrid SUVs? That was actually the best place to put a hybrid engine. The 6 MPG improvement the Highlander Hybrid [fueleconomy.gov] gets from 22 to 28 MPG results in a fuel savings of nearly 1 gallon per 100 miles. That's about the same savings as switching from a 33 MPG econobox to a 50 MPG Prius. If you can improve a tractor trailer's 6 MPG to just 6,4 MPG, that also saves about the same amount of fuel per mile. It's the big vehicles which consume a lot of fuel whose efficiency you want to improve first in order to produce the biggest reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. The Priuses, econoboxes, and small sedans are roundoff error.

      Give Musk credit. He actually understands this, which is why his next project is an electric tractor trailer.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )

        The switch to electric might make the most impact per-unit on large, inefficient vehicles, but again, for an actual four wheeler it is a nonstarter. Look at the Tesla Model X, it's not a four wheeler. It's the exact same floorpan, drivetrain, and nearly the same suspension as the Model S, it's simply taller. It's crossover, not an SUV.

        The one place I could see electrics being popular are minivans, but only if the electrification of the drivetrain doesn't impinge on features that are popular. Looking a C

      • That applies if you have 1 car and 1 SUV. In general in most places this isn't the case. 10 cars and 1 SUV means the smaller incremental improvements in cars are actually significant, especially if you can eliminate the emissions from the city street completely as in the case of all-electric.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      In particular vehicles designed for heavy offroad use

      EVs are ideal for off-road use. Massive amounts of torque at low speeds, but no gearbox so driving them is easier. Few things to go wrong too, so more reliable. Current range would be around 250-300 miles per charge, way more than almost anyone will do off-road, and of course that will increase with time. Plus you can charge from solar/wind in remote areas, where as if you run out of fuel you are in trouble.

      Additionally many commercial-service vehicles would make poor electrics if their daily range far exceeds what a charge can provide

      Commercial long distance vehicles will soon be electric and driverless. It rarely matters if they nee

  • LOL. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @08:49PM (#55273803)

    The ban on internal-combustion engine automobiles would be at least 10 years away, and it's unclear at this early stage if it would ban only sales and use of new cars, or ban existing cars as well.

    What sensationalist tripe.
    What are they going to do, strand millions of lower-income people who can't afford to replace their $2000 clunker with a $30,000 new car?

    • The share of people who can't go out and buy a new EV on demand is probably more like 95%.

      • The share of people who can't go out and buy a new EV on demand is probably more like 95%.

        Is that more or less than the share of people who can't buy a new ICE car on demand?
        I mean you do know there is a second hand market for EVs too right?

    • What are they going to do, strand millions of lower-income people who can't afford to replace their $2000 clunker with a $30,000 new car?

      Lower income people don't buy brand new cars now, why would they suddenly have to in 10 years time?

      What sensationalist tripe.

      Yes, yes indeed..

      • The poor do not matter. Let them ride bicycles...

        Unless...

        Those Mexicans can no longer come and do all the menial work. So maybe we do need to give them transport.

    • What are they going to do, strand millions of lower-income people who can't afford to replace their $2000 clunker with a $30,000 new car?

      No, because they are clearly talking in the context of the similar policies in EU and China which are only on new cars. The article doesn't spell this out, but it does make the link.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It will be interesting to see how EVs impact the used car market. They last much longer than ICE cars and require much less maintenance. An EV with 100k miles on it is not like an ICE with 100k miles, with the latter being in imminent need of expensive maintenance and with significantly reduced performance.

  • by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @09:18PM (#55273917)

    Will all state and local government vehicles and see how it goes for them.

  • by habig ( 12787 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @09:23PM (#55273937) Homepage

    The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California,"

    Because one of the two is is a totalitarian communist regime and the other is....

    Wait, I take that back.

  • This is more like a ban on sales of new ICE powered cars.
    All they can really do about existing cars is to tighten the emissions regulations, which require EPA approval.

    • I believe states must comply with minimum emissions standards, but are free to impose stricter standards.
  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @09:37PM (#55273997)

    We have to preserve our air, and there is no reason whatsover the good people of SoCal should suffer the health risks associated with internal combustion engines, not to mention that gasoline is a hazardous substance and known carcinogen.

    Get this legislation to the governor's desk and signed ASAP.

  • This is so hilarious
  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Thursday September 28, 2017 @10:12PM (#55274115) Journal
    To summarize a few points:
    * This is just CARB 'talking' about this. It's not legislation, no one has introduced a bill. It's really just a 'what if' they're discussing.
    * I hardly think they'd suddenly ban all IC engine vehicles. That would be a disaster, so don't even think about it.
    * Furthermore it'd likely be a gradual shift away from IC engines to electric.
    * Furthermore, I don't think things like motorcycles would be included in the ban, nor fleets of trucks, emergency vehicles, etc.
    * Furthermore, I don't think it'd include existing vehicles, just new vehicles. Otherwise it would be an impossible financial burden on everyone. * Again: It's just above the level of coffee-table conversation the CARB is having about this. It would be at least TEN YEARS before they'd do anything.
    * Furthermore, it'd likely have to be legislation. We all know how long that'd take, right?

    Basically: No need to get all flustered about it -- YET. But it was worthy of being posted, so you all know what's going on. Also, not like you didn't all think something like this would come up eventually, anyway, we've been slowly moving towards this for a while now.
    • Basically: No need to get all flustered about it

      But, but... I want to react to a headline, then go off all half-baked about how angry I am without actually reading any of the detail. I mean, that is how the President does it right?

  • Anything behind a 10 year time frame is a wish list not policy
  • The history of CARB has been to set unrealistic goals because they can than quietly retrench.

    What's changed, at least from the point of view of the irresponsible people who run CARB is that now there are real electric cars on the roads.

    Never mind they require huge subsidies to eke out a microscopic slice of the market, they're real so CARB can once again flex its muscles and hope not to end up with egg on its face.

    The irony is CARB may actually get what it wants although not via a mighty mandate. Technology

  • Leave it to CA to jump on the banning bandwagon. How about we just let things continue to get better by themselves?

    1) Is the motivation reduction of pollution or just "feel good" political nonsense? If the latter, then let people feel good by opening their OWN pocketbooks to buy infant technology freely.
    2) Cars are cleaner than ever. Again, is this about pollution or feel-good, drop-in-the-bucket, "save the earth NOW" CO2?
    3) Target gross polluters, one "bad" ICE can spit out many, many times as much poll

  • Most modern electronic fuel-injected gasoline engines can burn combination of gasoline and ethanol up to 100% pure ethanol if a software change is applied to the timing. Heck, many vehicles are already FLEX-fuel and the owners dont even realize it or what it means.

    Burning ethanol produces half of the CO2 of burning gasoline, but with a range penalty. You need 125% as much ethanol as gasoline to travel the same distance.

    Still, 125% of half the emissions is 62.5% of gas emissions for the same distance. Thats

    • >"Burning ethanol produces half of the CO2 of burning gasoline, but with a range penalty. You need 125% as much ethanol as gasoline to travel the same distance."

      The problem is that ethanol doesn't just appear. It is made from crops. And, up to now in the US, that crop is corn. And that corn is fertilized with petroleum products. And then there is all the transport, conversion, etc. And most existing engines can't just use it without significant alterations. Ultimately it is far less attractive than

  • ... that has the range, power, and payload of a standard TurboDiesel ambulance.

    If California wants to ban internal combustion engines, OK, then let the Great State of California, and LA County LEAD the way, by junking every gasoline-burning police car and ambulance and fire truck they have, and replacing them ALL with electric vehicles.

    I'll wait.

  • It would be unrealistic to ban IC-engine vehicles in a decade. As others have pointed out, short of some revolution in battery capacity, they just don't have the range.

    What would be more realistic would be a ban on diesel engines and a requirement to use hybrid drivetrains for passenger and freight vehicles. The technology is mostly available today and the pain and cost would be much lower.

  • We shall replace all internal combustion engines with external combustion engines!

    Long awaited, the time for turbo rocket space car is here!

  • ... and get to be possibly the last generation to be able to own a car with a V8 roar and manual transmission.

    By the time my kids get to the point of responsibly buying anything more than a simple commuter car everything will be electric.

    Which isnâ(TM)t bad. Just different. But I really enjoy a big combustion engine. Too much Dukes of Hazard as a kid?

  • For this to happen, the electric car must be roughly equivalent to the combustion engine powered car. It must be able to provide at least 600km autonomy in a less then 10 minutes charge. An electric car with a 200km autonomy and 4 hours recharge is fine if you have a garage to store and charge it, most people just don't have that possibility. Combustion engines are so successful because you can charge them to 1000km autonomy in less than 5 minutes.
    I don't say that this wouldn't exist in 10 years, but until

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      For this to happen, the electric car must be roughly equivalent to the combustion engine powered car.

      For the car to replace the horse, the car must be roughly equivalent.

      It must be largely capable of steering itself and avoiding obstacles with only minimal input from the driver. It also must be powered by grass and be able to cross narrow trails and rough steep terrain. Finally, if you put two of the right type of cars together in a paddock, they need to be able to produce more cars for free.

      I don't say th

    • For this to happen, the electric car must be roughly equivalent to the combustion engine powered car.

      No it doesn't. For this to happen the electric car must meet people's use cases. Very few people have a use case for being able to drive 600km twice with only a 10minute break in between. Those few that do find themselves in a head-on collision with a tree after falling asleep at the wheel.

      An electric car with a 200km autonomy and 4 hours recharge is fine if you have a garage to store and charge it, most people just don't have that possibility.

      No one in my street has a garage. There are however 6 owners of fully electric cars. Public infrastructure is a thing.

      Combustion engines are so successful because you can charge them to 1000km autonomy in less than 5 minutes.

      No. Combustion engines are successful because they were the best thing we had to replace the horse. At

  • Within 10 years it will be the ban of selling new ICE cars, and maybe ICE's that are 30+ years old (and don't pass a certain emission standard).
    It'll take a few decades before the whole fleet of ICE cars have been replaced, you just cannot ban cars as a lot of people still depend on them and do not have the money to buy new ones. Also at this time the technology for batteries isn't commercially viable/good enough for replacing the ICE for long range/offroad situations. But in 10 years that will have changed

  • I think banning internal combustion engines is a good idea. I would love to see external combustion engines catch up.

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