Electric cars, renewable diesel, and the California mandate

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

California’s environmental rules and regulations often set the pace for the rest of America. So when the state passed its latest law regarding phasing out gas powered passenger vehicles by 2035, the rest of North America took notice.

Floyd Vergara, director of state governmental affairs with Clean Fuels Alliance America, explains that there are details to the law that include the timeline by which certain sectors must “decarbonize,” including minimums on electrification. He points out though, that the law is focused on passenger vehicles, not commercial vehicles.

The law will have significant impacts on both the traditional fuel markets, and the biofuel markets, including ethanol and other biofuels including renewable diesel.

Vergara represents the supply chains for biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel — the hardest to decarbonize sectors. Renewable diesel will play a huge role in lowering the carbon footprint of these sectors, but has huge demands to meet as it’s predicted that renewable diesel demand will double through to 2030 in California.

In this interview, Vergara explains the potential impact the law will have immediately and in the medium term, and how each sector will work to meet the standards, including a possible negative bias on ethanol demand.

Related:

What is renewable diesel? 

What a renewable diesel mandate could mean for canola