BERKELEY — The city of Berkeley is moving toward banning the sale of most new gas-powered cars, but not as quickly as first envisioned.
The proposal calls for the city to phase out the sale of new gas-powered passenger vehicles, with at least 80% of car sales in Berkeley being electric vehicles. The conversion was first proposed to occur by 2025 but now aims for 2030 to be in line with the city’s goal to be fossil-free by 2030, said Councilmember Kate Harrison in an interview.
“As long as we end with the 2030 date, we would be in good shape,” she said at Tuesday’s council meeting.
The proposal also would end the purchase of gas vehicles for the city fleet, converting it to electric cars only. The proposal also clarified the ordinance would only include the sale of “new” cars, not used cars.
The council agreed Tuesday night to have city staff draft an ordinance, referring the proposal to the city manager and city attorney’s office. The city attorney will review any potential legal issues in connection with the legislation.
Council members also indicated they received a confidential memo sent from the city attorney discussing the legality of such a ban, but it was not publicly revealed what the memo said.
Cheryl Davila, the former councilwoman who proposed the legislation before she lost her seat to now-councilmember Terry Taplin, spoke during the public comment period of the meeting, accusing the council of “watering down” her legislation.
“(Dealerships) should be selling electric vehicles in Berkeley;