‘Difficult to really achieve’: Toyota president offers realty check on CA gas-powered vehicle ban

California Governor Gavin Newsom may have scored points with his fellow progressives when he announced the Golden State would be banning gas-powered vehicles by 2035, but perhaps he should have first spoken to some car manufacturers, like Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, who says Newsom’s lofty goal will be “rather difficult” to achieve.

Speaking to reporters through a translator on Thursday, Toyoda balked at Newsom’s deadlines.

“Realistically speaking, it seems rather difficult to really achieve them,” he said, according to Fox Business. “But just like the fully autonomous cars that we were all supposed to be driving by now, BEVs are just going to take longer to become mainstream than the media would like us to believe.”

If Toyoda’s assessment is correct, it will affect more than just California, where the manufacturer is the top-selling auto brand.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have tied themselves to the regulations set by the California Air Resources Board, or CARB.

As American Wire reported, one of those states, Virginia, is frantically trying to get out of the deal.

In 2021, then-Governor Ralph Norton shackled the state to the whims of Gavin Newsom, leaving his successor, Governor Glenn Youngkin, scrambling to fix the liberal mess he inherited.

“In an effort to turn Virginia into California, liberal politicians who previously ran our government sold Virginia out by subjecting Virginia drivers to California vehicle laws,” Youngkin said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Now, under that pact, Virginians will be forced to adopt the California law that prohibits the sale of gas and diesel-fueled vehicles.”

“I am already at work to prevent this ridiculous edict from being forced on Virginians,” he promised his constituents. “California’s out-of-touch laws have no place in our Commonwealth.”

Touting his grand emissions plan for 2020, Newsom stated, “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,” he continued dramatically. “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.”

That’s all fine and well, but as Toyoda, whose grandpa started the car company, noted, “playing to win means playing with all the cards in the deck – not just a select few.”

“So that’s our strategy,” Toyoda stated, “and we’re sticking to it.”

Last month, Toyota recognized California’s right to set vehicle emissions standards under the U.S. Clean Air Act, and, in August, it announced it would boost its $1.29 billion investment in a new U.S. battery plant to $3.8 billion to meet the rising demand for EVs, but Toyoda acknowledged what anyone living in California already knows: the impact of Newsom’s ban on the electric grid, both in a state that struggles to keep the lights on and in a world in which roughly 1 billion people lack easy access to electricity, is problematic.

But that isn’t stopping other liberal governors from trying to force their states to walk in Newsom’s shiny woke shoes.

As Fox Business reports, “This week, New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul said her state is set to adopt a similar plan to California’s, saying that she has directed a state environmental agency to propose and finalize rules setting yearly rising zero-emission vehicle rules starting in 2026 that phases out gasoline-only new car sales by 2035.”


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Melissa Fine


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