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State Lawmaker Suggests Phasing Out Gas Car Sales by 2040

SACRAMENTO -- A state assembly member is working on a bill to ban sales of all vehicles that use gas or diesel by 2040.

Most people FOX40 spoke with on Friday, between regular drivers and experts in the field, do expect electric vehicles to overtake gas fuel cars -- but the timeline is still up in the air.

"We can get about 90 miles to the charge out of this particular model," driver Rob Abedain said, charging up his electric car.

Abedain, a self-described truck lover, says he thought electric cars were "a joke." But now, he's really come around to his Nissan Leaf.

"In the next 10-20 years, gasoline cars are gonna be so old and obsolete, it's not even gonna be funny," he said.

That timeframe is what San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting has in mind for the legislation he's writing.

Ting's proposal would be an ambitious environmental milestone -- even by California's standards -- but the state's air resources board says it's doable.

"It's very likely in 2040 that in California, virtually all cars sold would be zero emission vehicles," California Air Resources Board spokesperson Dan Sperling said.

Sperling says in the last three months, much of the international community has embraced electric vehicles. China, India and some European countries are eyeing the same 2040 goal, he said.

"Electric vehicles are going to dominate the light duty vehicles in the future," Sperling told FOX40. "It's really just a question of time."

But today, according to Sperling, electric cars make up less than two percent of vehicles on the road. Some drivers are skeptical electric cars will rule the road in California by 2040.

"I don't think we make it by 2040, but it's a good standard to try and get to," driver Ken DeRosa said.

While 2040 is a long way away, the state does expect more people to trade the pump for the plug. The state air resources board has a mandate in place that between 10 and 15 percent of car sales by 2025 be zero emission vehicles.