More than 80 environmental groups and other organisations including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are urging California to introduce tighter rules promoting electric vehicles.

California accounts for about 11% of all US vehicle sales, making it the biggest individual state market, and many other states adopt its green vehicle mandates.

California is currently aiming to reach 61% zero emission electric vehicle sales by 2030 compared to President Joe Biden’s national goal of 50% of new vehicle sales being electric or plug-in electric, although Biden has not endorsed a date to phaseout internal combustion engine vehicle sales.

In an open letter to Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, the groups are calling for California to set a target of 80% or more zero emission vehicles by 2030, reports Reuters.

“Climate disasters deserve the fastest all-electric future that Governor Newsom can deliver,” said Scott Hochberg of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute, one of the groups signing the letter. Newsom, he added “needs to prove the state’s climate leadership with a much faster electrification timeline.”

Meanwhile the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to restore California’s legal authority to set its own vehicle emission standards, a long-established right that President Trump revoked in 2019.