Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Road to the Future

By the year 2035, California will order the end of the marketing of gasoline-powered cars and passenger trucks. This state order was passed by Governor Newsom and it states that all new cars sold within the state will be zero-emission vehicles. Questions emerge about the impact it will have on the automotive industries, local mechanics and car enthusiasts. Concerns also rise for low-income families who fear the financial capability to buy electric vehicles.

Slowly but surely, car manufacturers are gearing up ideas to help them adjust to the new world of electric-powered vehicles. With the rise of Tesla and the high anticipations of new electric vehicle companies such as Lucid Motors, long-time car manufacturers are trying their best to perfect their own takes on electric cars.

Nissan has their line of fully electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, and coming out later this year, the Nissan Ariya, a fully electric SUV. The two biggest Japanese manufacturers, Toyota and Honda, have their cars coming soon with Toyota announcing their two new electric cars later this year. Honda is preparing their electric SUV to be available to consumers by 2024.

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For those who love to drive fast, luxurious vehicles that aren’t so efficient on gas mileage as opposed to the daily commuters who make their gas efficiency the focal point of their cars, higher-end vehicle manufacturers are developing their own take on individual electric cars. These luxury car manufacturers are on the same page, For example, the Porsche Taycanrsche Taycan is a luxury sports sedan electric vehicle with a horsepower of 616 for the Turbo S model. The mile range on this specific vehicle is up to 200 miles which aren’t too far in comparison to their gas-powered sports sedans. With a more luxurious company like Lamborghini, they will be teaming up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to release their own supercar, the Terzo Millennio, which is Italian for “the third millennium.” As of right now, the car is still a concept in development.

There have often been misconceptions about electric vehicles. For some, it seems as if these cars are produced and catered to wealthier families. Although for the first couple of years of existence that may have been true, the electric vehicle scene is evolving through extensive changes to reach out to middle and lower-class communities. For instance, the previously mentioned Nissan Leaf is starting at around $30,000, which is a start in the right direction in appealing to the middle class. The average new car price in the US was $37,851 in 2020.

In terms of how this law will affect California financially, Thomas Petrillo, an Economics student at the University of Southern California, says that “By incentivizing car manufacturers to build more EV (electric vehicles), we’ll begin to see a growth in that industry.”

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As for lower-income areas, it’s looking like an uphill battle that the government is working hard to solve. Many car companies have a hard time selling to low-income families due to lack of credit, language barrier, or the vehicles being out of price range.

Petrillo feels as if the government should find a way to compromise in that situation.

“I believe the government should provide some sort of credit to the lower-income families who would be looking to purchase electric cars,” he said.

A $1.5M grant from the California Energy Commission was given to show the support of placing electric vehicles and charging stations in lower-income areas. The grant will also invest partially in other ways of transportation by making buses and ride-sharing more accessible and cleaner for low-income communities. In September 2020, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, promised a $25,000 Tesla model that will be sold globally in 2023. Some financial analysts say that it has the potential to be sold for a price as low as $20,000.

Car enthusiasts all over the country have mixed or strong feelings about the slow and certain end of gasoline emission cars. Roberto Marquez, 20, is a car enthusiast who enjoys driving and working on his cars.

”I understand the importance of this change, but, unfortunately, this will most likely change a lot of things involving something I am very passionate about. My hobby was something I was hoping to pass down and enjoy with my kids one day,” he said.

Marquez fondly remembers his dad and uncles introducing him to the world of cars early on. “At a young age, I was always interested. When I turned 17 and received my first car from my family, I found out it was more than a hobby but something I looked forward to every day,” he said.

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However, Roberto sees a compromise with the reality of the situation: “with everything I learned about gasoline cars, I am looking forward to learning about electric vehicles and having that knowledge to pass down.”

Auto mechanic high school teacher Eduardo Martin fears the future of his occupations and everything he’s built becoming jeopardized.

“I’m worried that everything I’ve worked on these past five years like forming an auto club at the school, will be shut down eventually due to the new laws,” he said.

Although he sees an upside for his mechanic business he foresees it not being there for the long haul. “I like that by 2035 when the law is in place that car manufacturers will probably not provide services for their gasoline-powered cars, which will make more people look for local mechanics like me,” he said, “but the downside is that in 15 years I will have some good business but in 30 years I’ll probably be out of business.”

Though no one can say what the country or even the world will be like in 15 years, it’s always interesting to talk and think about; technology has come a long way and now it’s planning to play a major role in preserving the environment. Hopefully, with this new step Governor Newsom proposed, we will find a way to compromise every individual affected by this change.