California has planned to ban the sale of new petrol-powered passenger cars and trucks from 2035 as the state shifts to electric vehicles to reduce climate-warming emissions, the Californian Governor says.

The move is the most significant yet by a US state aimed at ending the use of fossil fuel-burning internal combustion engines and clashes with the policies of President Donald Trump’s White House.

Californian Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month said he would step up the state’s already aggressive efforts to combat climate change amid a record wildfire season.

“We are marking a new course,” the Democratic Governor said.

California said it was joining 15 countries that have made similar pledges, including Britain.

California’s clean vehicle goals have not always come to pass and in some cases have been pushed back or reworked.

Mr Newsom’s executive order sets a “goal” of no gasoline-powered passenger vehicles after 2035 and does not prevent Californians from owning petrol-powered cars or selling them on the used car market.

The country’s most-populous state wants similar action taken across the US.

California has a broader goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2050, but in recent years emissions from transport have increased.

Shiny new cars are being loaded onto a transportation truck by a man in a high-visibility vest.
Along with moves to increase electric car uptake, California wants to implement a zero-emissions policy for medium and heavy vehicles.(AP: Ben Margot/File)

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will turn Mr Newsom’s goal into a legally binding requirement by writing regulations to mandate that 100 per cent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035.

The board also plans to mandate by 2045 that all operations of medium-and heavy-duty vehicles be zero-emission where feasible.

California accounts for about 11 per cent of all US vehicle sales, and many states choose to adopt its green vehicle mandates.

Mr Newsom characterised the move as an economic opportunity that would create jobs and boost US vehicle manufacturers.

“If you are an American manufacturer, how can you compete globally unless you are in that business? Unless you are pushing the boundaries of innovation?” he said.

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In a statement, White House spokesman Judd Deere called the move “alarming” and said it would destroy jobs and raise consumer costs.

“President Trump won’t stand for it,” he said.

California and nearly two dozen other states have sued the Trump Administration, which has rolled back Obama-era vehicle emissions standards and sought to undo California’s authority to set strict car pollution rules.

If the Trump administration order that seeks to bar California from requiring a rising number of electric vehicles is upheld, legal experts said it would prevent the 2035 mandate.

Mr Biden’s spokesman Matt Hill said electric vehicles could “create a million good-paying union jobs, dominate a fast-growing market worldwide, and meet the demands of the climate crisis”.

But he added that Mr Biden “thinks of it in terms of incentives and investments, not bans”.

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