Press "Enter" to skip to content

Now California Wants to Force You to Ride the Magical Mystery Train



It takes a special kind of stupid to mandate electric vehicles that many people can’t afford, charged on a power grid that can’t support them. But beyond even that, it takes a special kind of magical thinking to mandate electric trains that haven’t been invented.

Welcome to California, the land of magical thinking.

By law, “all new passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs sold in California will be zero-emission vehicles [ZEV] by 2035.” ZEVs include EVs, hydrogen-powered vehicles, and plug-in hybrids (but not regular hybrids). If Sacramento gets its way, starting in 2030, freight trains will have to meet the same strict standards.

While it escaped my attention at the time, in November the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued new regulations “that would require all freight trains to be in a zero-emission configuration by 2035. By 2030, the rule mandates that diesel locomotives that are 23 years or older be retired, even though a locomotive can have a useful life of 39 years or longer.”

Passenger trains will have to go full ZEV by 2030 and freight trains by 2035. The problem is that nobody makes a ZEV freight train. It also seems unlikely to be a good idea but stick a pin in that thought because I’ll come back to it momentarily.

The closest thing to CARB’s new standard is a battery-electric locomotive made by a firm called Wabtec. But it’s only a demonstration engine at this point; it only reduces fuel use by 11% because it has to be used in tandem with traditional diesel engines, and therefore still doesn’t satisfy CARB…



Home | Caravan to Midnight (

We Need Your Help To Keep Caravan To Midnight Going,

Please Consider Donating To Help Keep Independent Media Independent

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Breaking News: