California to Ban the Sale of New Gasoline Cars (2023)

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The decision, to take effect by 2035, will very likely speed a wider transition to electric vehicles because many other states follow California’s standards.

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California to Ban the Sale of New Gasoline Cars (1)

By Coral Davenport,Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer

(Video) California regulator votes to ban sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035

California regulators on Thursday will vote to put in place a sweeping plan to restrict and ultimately ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars, state officials said, a move that the state’s governor described as the beginning of the end for the internal combustion engine.

The new policy, detailed Wednesday morning in a news conference, is widely expected to accelerate the global transition toward electric vehicles. Not only is California the largest auto market in the United States, but more than a dozen other states typically follow California’s lead when setting their own auto emissions standards.

If those states follow through, and most are expected to adopt similar rules, the restrictions would apply to about a third of the United States auto market.

“This is huge,” said Margo Oge, an electric vehicles expert who headed the Environmental Protection Agency’s transportation emissions program under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. As additional states put in place their own versions of these policies, “they will drive the market, and drive innovation,” she said.

The rule, issued by the California Air Resources Board, will require that all new cars sold in the state by 2035 be free of greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide. The rule also sets interim targets, requiring that 35 percent of new passenger vehicles sold by 2026 produce zero emissions. That requirement climbs to 68 percent by 2030.

Transportation is the nation’s top source of planet-warming greenhouse-gas emissions.

Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, called the new rule “one of the most significant steps to the elimination of the tailpipe as we know it.”

“Our kids are going to act like it’s a rotary phone, or changing the channel on a television,” Governor Newsom said in an interview.

John Bozzella, president of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents large U.S. and foreign automakers, said that automakers wanted to see more electric vehicles on the roads, but that California’s mandates would be “extremely challenging” to meet.

“Whether or not these requirements are realistic or achievable is directly linked to external factors like inflation, charging and fuel infrastructure, supply chains, labor, critical mineral availability and pricing, and the ongoing semiconductor shortage,” Mr. Bozzella said by email.

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President Trump had fought California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to set its own rules regulating automobile pollution, and there remains the possibility that a future president might fight full implementation of the new rules. In addition, a group of attorneys general from Republican states have filed a lawsuit challenging California’s ability to set its own pollution rules.

Critics of policies that encourage the rapid adoption of electric vehicles point out that sticker prices for electrics are still much higher than for similar gasoline powered cars. And Ann Bluntzer, the executive director of the Ralph Lowe Energy Institute at Texas Christian University, said in a statement that the conversion to electric vehicles could put a strain on electricity grids.

“Where is that increased power being sourced from?” Ms. Bluntzer said. “Fossil fuels? Wind? Solar? Hydro?”

California’s ban comes as gasoline prices continue to fall, this week dropping to a national average of $3.90 a gallon. Still, Mr. Newsom said, the fact that prices shot up after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underscored the urgency to “transition away from petro-dictators and dependency on the oil markets.”

The new policy in California follows an expansive new climate law signed by President Biden last week. The law will invest $370 billion in spending and tax credits on clean energy programs, the largest action taken by the federal government to combat climate change. The legislation is projected to help the United States cut its emissions 40 percent below 2005 levels by the end of this decade.

(Video) California to ban sales of new gas-powered cars in 2035

Still, that law alone won’t be enough to eliminate U.S. emissions by 2050, the target that climate scientists say nations must reach if the world is to avoid the most catastrophic and deadly effects of climate change.

To help close the gap, White House officials have vowed additional policies, such as new regulations on tailpipe emissions, but they have also said that individual states must take further action.

Experts said the new California rule, given its potential reach, could stand alongside the law signed by Mr. Biden last week as one of the world’s most important climate change policies.

(Video) California Expected To Ban New Gas-Only Car Sales By 2035

In California, the new rule will cut greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles by more than 50 percent in 2040 from the levels that were expected without the policy, according to state regulators. That amounts to eliminating 395 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over that time period, or the equivalent of burning 915 million barrels of oil, said Liane Randolph, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board.

That effect could potentially also spread to 16 other states, big and small. That’s because those states have traditionally followed California’s lead.

California will now send its final rule to the Environmental Protection Agency to request the waiver, which the Biden administration has signaled that it is likely to grant. A spokesman for the agency didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Because of the way the waiver works, California must first get approval from the E.P.A. for its own rules before other states can enforce similar restrictions, Ms. Oge said. A few states — including New York, Washington and Massachusetts — already had similar legislation in the works, and many of the other states that follow California’s lead are expected to consider similar rules over the next year or so.

The governments of Canada, Britain and at least nine other European countries — including France, Spain and Denmark — have set goals of phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles between 2030 and 2040. But none have concrete mandates or regulations like the California rule.

“This regulation will set the global high-water mark for the accelerated transition to electric vehicles,” said Drew Kodjak, executive director of the International Council on Clean Transportation, a research organization.

In Washington, Mr. Biden last year signed an executive order calling for the government to try to ensure that half of all vehicles sold in the United States be electric by 2030, up from 6 percent today, although the order has no binding legal force.

Mr. Biden has also sought to enact federal policies that would further scale up the nation’s use of electric vehicles. The recent climate bill includes $7,500 in rebates for people who purchase new electric vehicles, although automakers will have to assemble their vehicles in North America and source their batteries from friendly countries to qualify for the full credit. California officials said that provision would combine with $10 billion in a state program to make automobiles more affordable and build charging stations and other electric-vehicle infrastructure, particularly in low-income communities.

Several automakers said their strategies were aligned with California’s goal of promoting emission-free vehicles.

General Motors said it was still reviewing the rule but that the company also had a goal of selling only electric vehicles by 2035. “General Motors and California have a shared vision of an all-electric future,” said Elizabeth Winter, a spokeswoman for G.M.

Ford’s chief sustainability officer, Bob Holycross, said the company planned to invest more than $50 billion in electric vehicles and batteries by 2026 and said the rule would “set an example for the United States.” A spokesman for Stellantis, which owns Chrysler, Fiat, Dodge and other brands, said the company intended to introduce 25 new electric models by 2030 to help support California’s goals.

In a statement, Honda called California’s rule “an ambitious but important milestone” but cautioned that reaching the goal would require several steps, including building out domestic supply chains so that more vehicles could qualify for the federal tax credit.

Toyota, one of the world’s largest automakers, didn’t comment on California’s new rule but this week said in a statement that it acknowledged California’s “leadership in climate policies and its authority to set vehicle emissions standards under the Clean Air Act.” During the Trump administration, Toyota had sued to block California from setting stricter rules than the federal government.

To enforce its rule, Ms. Randolph said California would fine automakers up to $20,000 for every car that falls short of production targets. The state also could propose new amendments revising the sales targets if the market doesn’t react as state leaders hope, said Jennifer Gress, who leads the California air board’s sustainable transportation division.

State officials say about 16 percent of cars sold in California today are electric, up from 12.4 percent last year.

(Video) California banning new gas-powered cars by 2035

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“We recognize that not everyone is going to be buying a very expensive, brand-new car,” Ms. Randolph said. “But we also know that prices will go down in the future.”

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency restored and slightly strengthened an Obama-era fuel economy rule that had been set aside by the Trump administration. It requires passenger vehicles to get 55 miles per gallon by 2026, from just under 40 miles per gallon today.

That national regulation is much less ambitious than California’s new rule, but it was the Biden administration that allowed California to press forward with its ambitious policy: It restored California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act, which former President Donald J. Trump had halted.

The waiver dates from 1970, when Los Angeles was choking with smog and Congress was enacting the landmark Clean Air Act. California was allowed to set tougher emissions standards than the federal government, but had to provide a compelling reason to be granted a waiver. In 1977, other states were allowed to adopt California’s stricter standards.

The Biden administration’s reinstatement of the waiver is what enabled California to move forward with its new rule this week. Once in place, California’s regulations are expected to influence a new federal standard that the E.P.A. expects to introduce next year, further encouraging automakers to build and sell more electric vehicles.

There is already fierce legal pushback against those plans.

The attorneys general of 17 Republican-led states have sued to revoke the California waiver, which would undo the state’s new policy. Patrick Morrisey, the attorney general of West Virginia and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, called California’s waiver “favoritism” that “violates the states’ equal sovereignty.”

The lawsuit, which will be heard before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, considered the nation’s second most powerful bench after the Supreme Court. Oral arguments have not yet been scheduled.

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(Video) California's move to ban sales of new gasoline-fueled cars could spread to other states

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FAQs

Will gas cars be banned in California? ›

Last month, California regulators passed rules banning the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035, a move hailed as a significant victory in the fight against climate change.

When did California ban gas vehicles? ›

While many of us were on vacation last week, the transition to electric vehicles took a monumental leap. On Aug. 25, California regulators adopted rules that would ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and light trucks by 2035. Responding to news reports of California's action, Washington Gov.

Can you still drive gas cars after 2035? ›

Motorists can continue driving gas-fueled vehicles that were bought before the 2035 deadline and will be allowed to purchase used gas-powered vehicles after the rules take effect. Here's a look at states that have made steps to adopt California's zero-emission vehicle standards or similar policies.

Why are California gas cars outlawing? ›

Gavin Newsom set a target in 2020 to accelerate the shift away from internal combustion engines. The transportation sector represents the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, which has suffered from record-breaking wildfires, droughts and air pollution worsened by climate change.

What will happen to gas cars in California? ›

California, known for leading the United States in climate regulations, dropped a bombshell last month: By 2035, the state will ban sales of new gasoline powered cars and light trucks. Most new car sales are expected to shift to battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs).

Can you drive a gas car in California in 2035? ›

California plans to ban sales of new gas cars by 2035, requiring all vehicles to be electric or hydrogen powered. Seventeen states have vehicle emission standards tied to rules established in California. Now, they're weighing whether or not to follow a similar mandate.

Will gas cars become illegal? ›

California made it official last week — the state will ban sales of gasoline-powered new cars after 2035. Gov.

Why electric cars will never take over? ›

Consumers can't service or repair their EVs

EVs need regular maintenance, maybe not as much as gasoline-powered vehicles, but they also need maintenance and repairs. You can't perform this maintenance in your driveway because of the technology involved, which means taking your EV to the shop every time.

Will gas cars be phased out? ›

General Motors, Ford, Volvo, Daimler - they're planning to stop selling new cars by 2035 that are fueled by gasoline and diesel. Some companies may complain. But overall, globally, there is over $500 billion that the industry is investing from now to 2026.

Will you be able to buy used gas cars in California? ›

Yes. Individuals who own a gas-powered car past 2035 will still be able to sell them on the used market.

What will happen to gas stations after 2035? ›

California's shift away from gas-powered vehicles could mean as many as 80 percent of gas stations would be unprofitable by 2035. The state has some 250,000 station owners and employees.

Will there be gas cars in 2040? ›

No new gas cars by 2040

But there are others that have either set no target or that have set later targets, like China's and Japan's 2035 targets that still allow gas cars, and the US, which currently has no target but the earliest nationwide proposal is for 2045.

How long before all cars are electric? ›

So far 14 states and Washington, D.C., have adopted California's regulations that require the sales of a certain number of zero-emissions vehicles per year and for all cars sold to be zero emission by 2035.

How will the ban on gas cars work? ›

The new rule requires that 35 percent of new passenger cars and light trucks sold in California be either zero-emission, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen-powered models by 2026. Those benchmarks rise to 68 percent in 2030, and 100 percent in 2035.

Are gas-powered cars better than electric? ›

Electric cars are also more efficient than gas-powered vehicles. Gas-powered engines are designed for efficiency, while electric motors provide 100% torque from the get-go, allowing for faster acceleration and better mileage. Electric motors can also be used in various ways to improve efficiency.

Is California going to require all electric vehicles? ›

The regulations passed by the California Air Resources Board last week say that 2035 the state will require automakers to sell only cars that run on electricity or hydrogen, though some can be plug-in hybrids that use gas and batteries.

Is it a good idea to buy a gas car? ›

Gas-powered cars are easy to use, easy to fuel, and have a driving range that makes them practical for long-haul road trips. These advantages, along with the generally lower up front costs to buy them, make gas-powered cars attractive for many drivers.

Will California have all electric cars? ›

In August, CARB said it would require all new vehicles sold in California by 2035 to be electric or plug-in hybrid electrics (PHEVs) after Governor Gavin Newsom issued a 2020 executive order directing the move.

What states will ban gas cars? ›

The following states aim to phase out gas-driven cars by 2035:
  • California.
  • Connecticut.
  • Hawaii.
  • Massachusetts.
  • Maine.
  • New York.
  • North Carolina.
  • New Jersey.
15 Aug 2022

What percentage of cars sold in California are electric? ›

While that sounds like impressive growth, California is in another league. By the midpoint of 2022, fully electric vehicles made up an estimated 15.1% of new-vehicle sales in California.

Will Ice cars go away? ›

Entire fleet of government-owned vehicles with ICE engines will be phased-out and will be replaced with 100% all-electric vehicles by 2035-2040. All privately-owned light-duty vehicles with ICE engines will be phased-out and will be replaced with 100% electric vehicles by 2050.

How long will gas cars be legal? ›

When will California's gas-car ban take effect? It will take more than a decade for the ban to take effect fully—2035, to be exact—but the switch to zero-emission vehicles will happen incrementally.

Will GM stop making gas cars? ›

Big news from GM, as the automotive giant has announced that as of 2035, it will no longer sell vehicles with gasoline or diesel engines. It's a major decision and ambitious goal, but we can't say it's surprising.

Will hybrids be banned in California? ›

Boosting New-Car Technology, California Says All New Vehicles Sold Must be EVs or Plug-In Hybrids by 2035. The rule approved today won't “ban” existing gas cars.

How cold is too cold for electric cars? ›

How Extreme Weather Affects an Electric Car's Battery. Very cold or hot weather—generally defined as below 20 degrees or above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, according to AAA(Opens in a new window)—can cause a drop in EV range.

Are v8 engines going away? ›

It's no shock to be told, in 2021, that in the near-future gasoline engines will start to disappear from the landscape. Nor is it much of a surprise to hear that V8s will be the first to go.

How much does it cost to charge an all electric car? ›

The average cost of charging an EV at a commercial charger, from almost empty to almost full, is between $10 and $30. Keep in mind that charging your EV on a road trip—that is, at a commercial charger—costs significantly more than charging it at home.

Can I still drive my classic car after 2030? ›

No, the petrol and diesel car ban is only on the sale of new combustion engine cars – those already on the road will still be legal to own and drive. As the average life of a car is 14 years, new petrol and diesel cars bought in late 2029 could remain on the roads until 2044 at least.

Can you sell gas cars in California? ›

California's move to ban sales of new gasoline-fueled cars could spread to other states. In a historic vote in August, California regulators agreed to ban the sale of new gasoline-fueled cars by 2035. Because the state is the largest auto market in the U.S., the move could lead to a nationwide shift.

What will happen to cars in the future? ›

When it comes to future car design, technology is the biggest driver behind new car models. Major trends show that cars of the future will be electric, autonomous, connected and sleek. In just a few years' time, vehicles on the road could look nothing like they do today.

Will electric cars reduce oil demand? ›

The growth of EVs (electric vehicles) affects the oil and gas industry in an obvious way. Less gasoline for internal combustion engines means less crude oil refined into gasoline or diesel. President Biden's goal is 50% of new car sales to be EV's by 2030.

What will happen to petrol stations when cars go electric? ›

Think about it. As electric vehicles begin to edge out petrol and diesel there will be less refuelling business to go around. Those service stations on the edge of viability will begin to go to the wall.

Will diesel trucks be banned in California? ›

New models would be zero-emission in 2024, while diesel and gas drayage trucks must retire after 18 years to guarantee that they meet a zero-emission requirement by 2035. In addition, half of all new trucks purchased by state and local governments would be zero-emission in 2024, increasing to 100% by 2027.

What year will all cars be electric in USA? ›

Exxon Mobil CEO: All new passenger cars will be electric by 2040.

Are gas companies worried about electric cars? ›

Oil and gas companies are fighting against electric vehicles, lobbying against more accessible electric charging stations that would make electric vehicles easier to buy for consumers. In more than 10 states, oil companies are doing whatever they can to disrupt plans to build charging stations for electric vehicles.

Can you still buy gas in 2030? ›

California's historic ban on gas-powered car sales by 2035 is leaving some people with questions. The new regulation, set by the California Air Resources Board, will stop the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles in California. It's expected to gradually end gas car sales.

What will happen to gas prices when electric cars take over? ›

The rise of electric cars may push gas prices up. However, using the fundamental economic principle as a basis, a rise in the price of a certain commodity is possible if it has a low supply but high demand. Gas prices will rise if the demand for it is higher than the supply.

Will electric cars overload the power grid? ›

Electric cars won't overwhelm the US grid anytime soon, energy and transportation experts say. EVs don't consume a lot of energy now, and it will be decades before electric cars take over fully. EVs can be charged when it's best for the grid and may even be able to store energy for the future.

What happens if your electric car runs out of battery? ›

Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent. If you're driving an electric car and it runs out of power, the short and simple answer is this: the car will stop—and you'll need to call roadside assistance to get towed to the nearest charging station.

Will they ban old cars in California? ›

The state's move does not ban the sale of any used vehicles. And owners of old-fashioned gas guzzlers will still be able to drive California's roadways.

What percentage of new cars sold are electric? ›

Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent. In years past, electric vehicles (EVs) have made up less than 3% of new car sales in the U.S, even dipping below 1% in 2017 and earlier. In 2021, though, new EV sales jumped up to 7.2% of global car sales, over doubling percentages from 2019.

Who is banning gas cars? ›

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved an ambitious phase-out plan that will require all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the Golden State to be electric vehicles (EV) or other zero-emissions models by the middle of the next decade.

Do electric cars need oil changes? ›

Any need for engine pistons, valves, and other moving parts that need to be lubricated, electric vehicle does not need regular oil changes. Electric cars use completely different drivetrains, so you will never have to worry about routine oil changes that are necessary for traditional cars.

How long do electric cars last? ›

Both of the mandated warranty numbers (8 years, 100,000 miles) for EV batteries far exceed the average ICE vehicle drivetrain warranty of 5 years or 60,000 miles. The average lifetime mileage of an ICE vehicle is about 133,000 miles.

How long do electric car batteries last? ›

“Today, most EV batteries have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years within the car – and a second life beyond.” It's also worth noting that EV battery technology is still evolving, so as tech develops we expect batteries' lifespan to increase – as well as becoming cheaper, smaller and even lighter.

Will gas vehicles go away? ›

California made it official last week — the state will ban sales of gasoline-powered new cars after 2035. Gov.

Is it a good idea to buy a gas car? ›

Gas-powered cars are easy to use, easy to fuel, and have a driving range that makes them practical for long-haul road trips. These advantages, along with the generally lower up front costs to buy them, make gas-powered cars attractive for many drivers.

Why electric cars will never take over? ›

Consumers can't service or repair their EVs

EVs need regular maintenance, maybe not as much as gasoline-powered vehicles, but they also need maintenance and repairs. You can't perform this maintenance in your driveway because of the technology involved, which means taking your EV to the shop every time.

Who is banning gas cars? ›

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved an ambitious phase-out plan that will require all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the Golden State to be electric vehicles (EV) or other zero-emissions models by the middle of the next decade.

What will happen to classic cars when petrol is banned? ›

The Impact to Classic Motors

As a result, classic and retro cars should not be affected – the government is expected to consider vehicles over 40 years old as historic, which will enable them to continue to be used even in ultra-low emission zones.

Will ICE cars be worthless? ›

For the average road user, yes, it's likely they will become worthless. There's no way of knowing with certainty as it depends on many factors. One thing it depends on is how the car insurance industry reacts.

What will happen to gas stations after 2035? ›

California's shift away from gas-powered vehicles could mean as many as 80 percent of gas stations would be unprofitable by 2035. The state has some 250,000 station owners and employees.

What will happen to gas prices when electric cars take over? ›

The rise of electric cars may push gas prices up. However, using the fundamental economic principle as a basis, a rise in the price of a certain commodity is possible if it has a low supply but high demand. Gas prices will rise if the demand for it is higher than the supply.

Is electric car cheaper than gas in California? ›

California has expensive electricity and also expensive gasoline. Fueling an electric car in California costs the equivalent of $2.60 per gallon, but gasoline costs more than $6 per gallon. The net result is that EV drivers in the Golden State see a savings of $3.59 per gallon.

Should I buy a new car now or wait until 2022? ›

While soaring used car prices are bad for those who can't afford a new car, they may mean 2022 is a good time to buy a car for those with a vehicle to trade in. A high trade-in price means added capital that can help reduce the finance share of purchasing a new car.

How cold is too cold for electric cars? ›

How Extreme Weather Affects an Electric Car's Battery. Very cold or hot weather—generally defined as below 20 degrees or above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, according to AAA(Opens in a new window)—can cause a drop in EV range.

Are v8 engines going away? ›

It's no shock to be told, in 2021, that in the near-future gasoline engines will start to disappear from the landscape. Nor is it much of a surprise to hear that V8s will be the first to go.

How much does it cost to charge an all electric car? ›

The average cost of charging an EV at a commercial charger, from almost empty to almost full, is between $10 and $30. Keep in mind that charging your EV on a road trip—that is, at a commercial charger—costs significantly more than charging it at home.

How long will gas cars be legal? ›

When will California's gas-car ban take effect? It will take more than a decade for the ban to take effect fully—2035, to be exact—but the switch to zero-emission vehicles will happen incrementally.

What percentage of cars in California are electric? ›

Western U.S. states lead the way when it comes to electric vehicle registrations, with California accounting for over 28% of the nation's overall count in 2021.

How long before all cars are electric? ›

So far 14 states and Washington, D.C., have adopted California's regulations that require the sales of a certain number of zero-emissions vehicles per year and for all cars sold to be zero emission by 2035.

Videos

1. California's Plan To Ban Sales On New Gas-Powered Cars By 2035 - Steve Forbes | What's Ahead| Forbes
(Forbes)
2. California expected to ban sale of gas-powered cars by 2035
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3. California may become the first state ban new gas car sales
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4. California approves ban on gas-powered vehicles by 2035
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5. Yes, California Is Close To Banning The Sale of Cars That Run On Gas BUT Don't Panic - Here's Why!
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6. California votes to ban sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035
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