An increasing number of states, including several in the Northeast, are instituting laws banning the sale of new gas-powered cars. In each case, states are adopting some form of California’s Advanced Clean Cars II program, which requires stakeholders to start phasing out gas cars, SUVs and light-duty trucks in lieu of zero-emission vehicles. Under this framework, clean-energy vehicles will account for 35% of new vehicle sales beginning in 2026 and increase annually until reaching 100% in 2035. The law also institutes increasingly stricter pollution standards for vehicles with combustion engines.
It’s important to emphasize that these measures are not bans on all gas-powered cars. Motorists will still be able to drive and purchase used models of such vehicles. Instead, the laws prohibit the sale of new gas-powered cars.
Here are the local states that have announced such legislation.
In August 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed the Clean Energy and Offshore Wind act into law. The legislation included a stipulation that if California bans the sale of new gas-powered cars, so too would Massachusetts. Later that month, the West Coast state did just that, triggering Massachusetts to adopt the same regulations.
In September 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a requirement for all new passenger cars, SUVs and pickup trucks sold in New York to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. The measure is part of the state’s effort to reduce greenhouse gases 85% by 2050. Hochul simultaneously announced complementary initiatives, including electric vehicle infrastructure investments and zero-emission vehicle incentives.
In February, New Jersey became the latest state to introduce legislation banning the sale of new gas-powered cars starting in 2035. Governor Phil Murphy announced the measure as part of a broader environmental initiative that aims to transition the Garden State to 100% clean energy by the same time frame. New Jersey had previously set that deadline at 2050.
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What do you think about the plans for phasing out gas cars? Have you already gone electric? Share your opinions in the comments.