California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday banning the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles in the state by 2035.
According to the order, by that year, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California are required to be zero-emission vehicles.
The governor's office said in a statement that the transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80% of smog-forming pollution and 95% of toxic diesel emissions.
Calling the move the "most impactful step" to fight climate change, Newsom said cars have polluted the air that American children and families breathe.
"Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse – and create more days filled with smoky air.
"Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines," he said in the statement.
The executive order will not prevent Californians from owning gas-powered cars or selling them in the used car market.
The move is expected to achieve more than a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80% improvement in oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars statewide, according to the statement.
By Servet Gunerigok in Washington