Independent Gas Station Owners Expect Loss Of Business With California’s Gas Car Ban

Independent Gas Station Owners Expect Loss Of Business With California’s Gas Car Ban

California’s move to cut out all sales of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 will likely harm independent gas station owners in the state.

Owners of gas stations told The Los Angeles Times that the new rule will accelerate the loss of their businesses. 

“Most of the independents will be put out of business — completely out of business,” Charles Khalil, an owner of two gas stations, said. “We are all going to suffer through it.”

Adnan Ayoub, another independent proprietor, said the zero-emission rule “is not going to be fun for a lot of us.”

“When the gas [cars] go away, I don’t know how many customers I would lose,” Ayoub, who has worked in the industry for over thirty years, said. “I’m kind of on the way out, looking for something else to do.” Ayoub thought about putting electric vehicle charging facilities at his gas station, but when he saw how much it would cost, it didn’t make sense. 

Bob Reed has been operating a gas station since the 1970s.

“In my life, I will never sell it, because it took me a while to get this,” he said, adding, “My son and grandson will be the ones who are going to feel it.”

There are 5,081 small owner gas stations in the state that also have a convenience store. Loren McDonald, a consultant in the electric car industry, looked at five years of information from the National Association of Convenience Stores, and estimated that almost half of these single owner stations in California would shut down by 2035, with the assumption that the locations will start to shut down at a 3% annual rate and go up to 6% per year.

The California Air Resources Board greenlit a new regulation in August that would make it so that all new cars and light trucks for sale in the state would be zero-emission by 2035. 

“Rapidly accelerating the number of ZEVs on our roads and highways will deliver substantial emission and pollution reductions to all Californians, especially for those who live near roadways and suffer from persistent air pollution,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said at the time.

Although people will still be driving gas-powered vehicles in California for several years to come, the quick transition is reminiscent of other environmental steps the state has taken in order to quickly move to green energy options, all at the expense of the reliability of the state’s power grid. 

In 2019, Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom signed six measures to move the state off of fossil fuels, and the state is attempting to have an entirely carbon free electric grid by 2045. In August of 2020, there were rolling blackouts across the state during a heat wave.

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