Lawnmowers and leaf blowers powered by gas, as well as any other equipment using small off-road engines (SOREs), will no longer be sold in California after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a ban on their sale earlier this month, according to CNET.
California Governor Signs Bill
Governor Gavin Newsom of California has signed a bill banning the sale of small off-road engines by 2024 as part of his push for a state with 100 percent zero emissions. Small engine-powered tools account for a large proportion of carbon emissions and air pollution in the environment.
According to Autoweek, it is much worse for the environment to use small gas-powered equipment like leaf blowers and generators, which is why California’s Air Resources Board pushed state politicians to act. Just one hour of gas leaf blower use is equivalent to driving 1,100 miles, and a 300-mile drive with a gas lawn mower would be the equivalent of running for the same period.
California is home to 16.7 million small engines. 77 percent of the electricity is used to power lawn and garden equipment in the house. In comparison, 11 percent is used to power federally regulated construction and farming machinery, and 9 percent of the total is attributable to commercial lawn and garden services, as per California Air Resource Board.
SORE Emissions Regulation
At least 50,000 small businesses of this type are located in California, according to estimates. Dan Walters stated in his published article in Times of San Diego that it is one thing to mow your lawn once a week, but professionals do it up to a dozen times a day to feed and house their families. They’d have to buy dozens of batteries and chargers, as well as the facilities to recharge those batteries, including enough electric power supplies.
According to The Guardian, supporters of the bill’s environmental provisions are less concerned. They stated that while there is no denying that electric models are more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts, they also point out that they offer long-term savings to small businesses.
By July 1, 2022, the state hopes to have SORE emission regulations in place. Starting on July 1, 2024, companies will be prohibited from selling SORE equipment, and in the long run, the goal is to have SOREs emit zero emissions in California. The state says that this will be accomplished in 2035.