Car Industry

California is done buying cars sans electrification for state's fleet

Any car running only an internal-combustion engine is now struck from the options.

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California, in an effort to continue reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is finished purchasing vehicles for its fleet that run solely on fossil fuels. Instead, beginning as of last Friday, the state will only opt for vehicles featuring some sort of electrification. 

California's Department of General Services said the change is immediate and only provides an exemption for certain public safety vehicles (police vehicles, fire trucks, etc.).  It's unclear if the policy will allow for vehicle running a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, or if California will look exclusively at hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric cars. The Department of General Services did not immediately respond.

However, this new policy is only half of the big changes. The state plans to flex its purchasing muscles and will exclude any manufacturers that have sided with the Trump administration in the state's ongoing battle to retain its waiver process. This process has allowed California to set greenhouse gas standards and enforce quotas for zero-emission vehicles. The Trump administration has said it will revoke this ability, but the final outcome will be held up in court battles for now.

So far, General Motors, Toyota, Mazda and Fiat Chrysler have aligned with the Trump administration and seek one national fuel economy standard. On the other hands, Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen have taken California's side -- even going as far as signing a greenhouse gas pact. That move, however, has led to a federal antitrust investigation into each company.

"Car makers that have chosen to be on the wrong side of history will be on the losing end of California's buying power," Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement. "In court, and in the marketplace, California is standing up to those who put short-term profits ahead of our health and our future."

The California state fleet of vehicles is made up of about 51,000 vehicles with just over 3,000 featuring some sort of electrification.

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