WASHINGTON, DC, US — The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) described a recent decision by California regulators to phase out the sales of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 as a “missed opportunity” to allow for more innovation and broaden low- and zero-emission solutions, in addition to the proposed increase in electric vehicles.

California wants electric vehicle sales to triple in the next four years to 35% of all new car purchases, an aggressive target set as part of the goal to phase out the sale of gas-powered cars by the middle of the next decade. The California Air Resources Board’s proposal would slowly raise the sale of new cars that are electric, hydrogen-powered or plug-in hybrids to 100% by 2035.

“As NCGA told regulators during the rulemaking process, constraining the vision of a zero-emission future prevents the state from tapping into the immediate and affordable environmental solutions that come from replacing more gasoline with low-carbon and low-cost ethanol in both current and new vehicles, including the electric plug-in hybrids,” the organization said. “Ethanol is on a path to net zero emissions, and NCGA will continue to work with and urge California to use all the tools in its toolbox as it addresses climate change and cuts harmful tailpipe emissions.”

The NCGA noted that recent vehicle testing at the University of California-Riverside found that higher ethanol blends like E-15 significantly reduced most criteria air pollutants compared to standard 10% ethanol blends.