We’ll Need to Replace the Gas Tax in Transition to ZEVs

It’s full steam ahead for the Newsom administration’s zero-emission vehicle strategy. But this enthusiasm for a new generation of automobile technology may degrade the very roads they drive upon.

The governor kicked his clean car initiative into high gear last September with an executive order requiring all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission by 2035. He went further in January by earmarking nearly $1.5 billion of one-time and future revenues to increase the pace and scale of new electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling stations, and provide subsidies for new and used zero-emission vehicles and equipment.

These carrot-and-stick policies may substantially advance the sales and use of zero-emission vehicles. But for every gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle retired and not replaced, California’s enormous transportation network will get a little grittier.

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Loren Kaye
Loren Kaye was appointed president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education in January 2006. He has devoted his career to developing, analyzing and implementing public policy issues in California, with a special emphasis on improving the state's business and economic climate. He also was a gubernatorial appointee to the state's Little Hoover Commission, charged with evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of state agencies and programs. Kaye served in senior policy positions for Governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian, including Cabinet Secretary to the Governor and Undersecretary of the California Trade and Commerce Agency. See full bio.