In a very shocking turn of events, there are reports from multiple sources that the State of California may be looking to ban internal combustion engines.
Just about every motorcycle on sale today, including our beloved Harleys, is powered by an internal combustion engine of some form or the other.
It isn’t some moot proposal by some maverick legislator.
Discussions into the matter have been initiated from the very top. If sources are to be believed, Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, who also happens to be the Head of the State Emission Control Agency is discussing on this ban.
The ban wouldn’t just affect California bikers.
If the ban comes into force, it’ll be applicable in several states of the country. This is because several states like Oregon, New England, Washington, New York, etc. follow California regulations.
There’s some good news for Harley lovers, though.
The company showcased to the media the Harley LiveWire prototype, a “real” electric motorcycle. The prototype has all that one looks for in a Harley sans the iconic V-twin and the Harley thump! The only problem back then was a limited range of just 50 miles.
However, Harley-Davidson had promised that the production version will have a range of at least 100 miles. And now we have confirmed news from Harley itself, that the production version of the LiveWire concept will hit the shelves, within a span of 18 months!
But What About My Milwaukee-Eight I Just Bought?!
Relax. This ban isn’t coming into force anytime soon. Bans like these have already been passed in various countries of the world such as England, France, and China. However, all of these bans will come into effect only sometime between the years 2030 and 2040. There’s no official report on when the ban in California will come into force if it even does!
The Association of Global Automakers had some good news, though!
The trade association which represents the interests of several foreign carmakers said:
“We have been working with California on intelligent, market-based approaches to emissions reductions beyond 2025, and we hope that this doesn’t signal an abandonment of that position.”
With that said, and looking at the coming-into-force dates of the bans by the foreign countries, it’s fairly safe to assume that the ban in California isn’t likely to kick anytime sooner than 2030. So, we’ve got at least a good 12 years of thumping left! And by then, who knows where technology would have had taken us?! Look at Tesla, for God’s sake!
It is also worth mentioning that the State of California has a penchant for proposing sky-headed earth-saving regulations that don’t really materialize!
Back in 1990, the CARB, or California Air Resources Board, passed a mandate requiring at least 2% of all cars to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 1998. And then, when by 1996, nobody had viable ZEVs on the market, they began to shift the goalposts!
And there’s more reason to rejoice!
Let’s not forget California’s Ballot Initiative Process. If a ban like this even sees the light of day, there’s bound to be a lot of unhappy folks out there. It’ll be one of those rare times cagers and bikers will unite alike. And that’s when some Act will be proposed and passed, which will let our thumpers run, albeit with higher costs and some limitations.