California Says Self-Driving Vehicles Must Be Zero Emission

Looking to the future, the state will require autonomous vehicles to be all-electric by 2030.

September 28, 2021

Autonomous EV Charging

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that mandates all light-duty autonomous vehicles in the state to produce zero emissions, reports Tech Crunch. The law would take effect in 2030.

In 2020, Newsom signed an order to end sales of new cars and trucks powered by gasoline or diesel by 2035 as part of the state’s efforts to promote electric or zero-emission vehicles. The Environmental Protection Agency says that since 2019, transportation has been the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The majority of autonomous vehicles—mainly used in test fleets and in closed applications are electric, and they make up a small amount of the roughly 15 million vehicles in California. Consumers can’t currently buy a fully self-driving vehicle.

However, with General Motors-backed Cruise and Alphabet-backed Waymo actively testing self-driving cars in the state for taxi services, the move by Newsom ensures that their future fleets won’t use conventional engines or hybrids. Cruise’s fleet of test vehicles is already all-electric.

The Save Mart Companies, the largest family-owned grocer in California, was the first U.S. supermarket chain to launch on-demand delivery using Starship Technologies’ autonomous robot shuttles. Chipotle Mexican Grill invested in Nuro, a leader in autonomous delivery. In 2020, both Walmart and Kroger announced partnerships with the autonomous delivery company, and in 2019, Domino’s launched a pilot program to deploy Nuro’s unmanned vehicles in Houston.

For more on companies delivering last-mile deliver solutions, read “Robots Deliver” in NACS Magazine.

Register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on electric vehicles and fuels, including these sessions developed by retailers for retailers: