BERKELEY — Town of Berkeley is transferring towards banning the sale of maximum new gas-powered automobiles, however now not as temporarily as first proposed.
The proposal requires the town to section out the sale of latest gas-powered passenger cars, with a minimum of 80% of the automobiles bought in Berkeley being electrical. The trade initially was once proposed to happen via 2025, then 2027 and now 2030. Councilmember Kate Harrison proposed the most recent trade at Tuesday evening’s assembly, announcing she idea a phased method can be very best.
“So long as we finish with the 2030 date, we’d be in just right form,” she stated.
The proposal additionally would finish the acquisition of fuel cars for the town fleet, changing it to electrical automobiles best. The proposal additionally clarified the ordinance would best come with the sale of “new” automobiles, now not used automobiles.
The council agreed Tuesday evening to have town personnel draft an ordinance, referring the proposal to the town supervisor and town lawyer’s workplace. Town lawyer will evaluate any doable felony problems in reference to the law.
Council individuals additionally indicated they gained a confidential memo despatched from the town lawyer discussing the legality of the sort of ban, however it was once now not publicly published what the memo stated.
Cheryl Davila, the previous councilwoman who proposed the law sooner than she misplaced her seat to now-councilmember Terry Taplin, spoke all through the general public remark duration of the assembly, accusing the council of “watering down” her law.
“(Dealerships) will have to be promoting electrical cars in Berkeley; that may exchange the fuel automobiles for the sellers which might be in Berkeley,” she stated. “That are meant to be one thing that are meant to be simply remedied and with out a lack of earnings to the town.”
Different adjustments to the law come with the addition that it will price the town roughly $9.76 million to modify the town fleet to “inexperienced” cars over the following yr, when compared with $8.34 million in the event that they have been changed via fuel or hybrid cars. That incorporates $300,000 already allotted for the price of charging stations for the electrical automobiles. It could additionally come with data at the availability of electrical cars from producers with dealerships in Berkeley.
The adjustments have been submitted via Harrison, and the council agreed to incorporate them within the proposed law.
The law additionally says that discounts in gross sales tax earnings from fossil-fuel cars can be offset via the gross sales tax gathered for electrical automobiles.
Regardless of this, Councilmember Susan Wengraf requested the town supervisor to go back to the council with additional info at the doable loss in gross sales tax earnings to the town, since Berkeley can be adopting this alteration previous than on the state stage.
“I don’t need to push industry clear of Berkeley,” she stated.
Harrison, on the other hand, reiterated that the gross sales tax earnings can be related to what there’s now, since dealerships would nonetheless promote automobiles, simply electrical ones.
Some other folks talking on the assembly applauded the council for the sort of ban, together with Annie Leonard, government director of Inexperienced Peace USA. She stated transportation is a large chew of fossil gas utilization and helps the phase-out of fossil fuels.
“It wouldn’t resolve the issue, however it provides us a combating likelihood,” Leonard stated.
Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced in September a statewide ban at the sale of latest gas-powered cars via 2035. However Harrison, in an interview with this newspaper ultimate week, stated the “time is now,” to start out making adjustments on the town stage.
Mayor Jesse Arreguín in an interview ultimate week puzzled whether or not the preliminary 2025 purpose was once possible.
“I believe we wish to discover how we will do that as temporarily and equitably as imaginable, and transition our town cars off of fuel. In order an aspirational purpose, it’s a just right one to set, but if the rubber meets the street in an effort to talk, we wish to get into the main points,” Arreguín stated.
He famous the town had already set a purpose to be fossil fuel-free via 2030.