The City Council is expected to direct the city manager on Jan. 19 to do a feasibility study before considering an ordinance that would phase out 80% of gasoline, diesel and natural gas passenger vehicle sales. The future ordinance would not apply to trucks.
Berkeley would also stop purchasing these vehicles and convert its fleet of 129 vehicles to all electric.
But not all Berkeley officials think the plan is feasible.
Mayor Jesse Arreguín said he’s not sure that 2027 is a “realistic timeline” for banning gas-, natural gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, though he praised the effort to lead on climate change.
It’s worth noting the ban would be confined to Berkeley’s city limits, which means consumers who want to purchase a gas-powered vehicle would just have to go to nearby Oakland. Some vehicle operators expressed skepticism about requiring car sales to go electric so soon.
“I don’t think it’s feasible to think that you can actually end oil and gas,” said Jerry Griggs, the operations manager at Buggy Bank LLC, a display car service — a middleman between dealers and consumers — in Berkeley. “There are some pretty wackadoo things going on in politics right now. Those people are supposed to be smarter than us and they think it can happen, but I don’t see it.”
The BMW dealership in Berkeley declined to comment. Toyota and Chrysler in Berkeley did not respond to a request for comment.
The city’s efforts come after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in September that California will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. Newsom signed an executive order mandating that beginning in that year, new passenger vehicles sold must be zero-emission. Zero-emission vehicles include battery-powered electric cars and vehicles that run on hydrogen fuel cells.
The California Air Resources Board will develop a plan that ensures new vehicles for sale will be mostly zero-emission leading up to 2035.
Some Berkeley officials say 2035 is too…
Read More: Berkeley considers banning the sale of gas-powered cars by 2027. But is it feasible?