California took another step toward its goal of ridding the state of all gas-powered engines thanks to a new bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday.
The new law will ban the sale of all off-road, gas-powered engines, including generators, lawn equipment, pressure washers, chainsaws, weed trimmers, and even golf carts. Under the new law , these machines must be zero-emissions, meaning they will have to be either battery-powered or plug-in, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“This is a pretty modest approach to trying to limit the massive amounts of pollution that this equipment emits, not to mention the health impact on the workers who are using it constantly,” Marc Berman, the bill’s author, told the outlet. “It’s amazing how people react when they learn how much this equipment pollutes, and how much smog forming and climate changing emissions that small off-road engine equipment creates.”
The new law is expected to affect nearly 50,000 small businesses . California’s budget includes $30 million to help professional landscapers and gardeners quit using gas-powered equipment, but even then, the budget is still not capable of bearing the full financial burden.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals also noted how zero-emission commercial equipment is both more expensive and less efficient than gas-powered equipment. A gas-powered riding lawn mower costs between $7,000-$11,000 while the zero-emissions version costs more than twice that amount, according to the outlet.
The new rule will be implemented by January 2024, or as soon as regulators determine is “feasible,” whichever date is later. The California Air Resources Board has already started working on executing the law, which is a lengthy process scheduled to conclude early next year, per the outlet.
Newsom banning futures purchases of gas-powered lawn equipment continues his pursuit of making California run exclusively on green energy. The governor signed an executive order in September 2020 mandating that all of California’s new car sales be zero-emissions models by 2035. The order also requires new bus and truck sales, whenever feasible, to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2045.