New Jersey to ban gas-powered cars by 2035, claims move will ‘preserve consumer choice’


New Jersey will outlaw the sales of new gas-powered cars to combat climate change after the state Department of Environmental Protection officially adopted a rule forcing automakers to transition to zero-emission fleets by 2035.

Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, insisted the directive will “preserve consumer choice and promote affordability” by making more types of electric vehicles available when taken into account with the Biden administration’s incentives.

While drivers will still be able to operate gas-powered vehicles and buy used models, New Jersey residents will no longer be able to purchase them new in 2035 and thereafter.

“The steps we take today to lower emissions will improve air quality and mitigate climate impacts for generations to come, all while increasing access to cleaner car choices,” Mr. Murphy said in a statement.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association, which was against the so-called Advanced Clean Cars II rule, said the move “ignores consumer choice” and will “ultimately mandate what type of car residents can drive — and in some cases, if they can afford to drive.”

New Jersey joins at least 10 other states in enacting a rule banning gas-powered car sales by 2035 including: California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

California was the first state to adopt such a rule, in 2022.

The transportation sector is a major focus of clean energy advocates and is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for 30% of total U.S. emissions last year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

New Jersey’s rule begins in 2027, when at least 43% of auto manufacturers’ fleets must be zero-emission vehicles. By 2035, it must be 100%.

The Biden administration is proposing a tailpipe emissions rule at the federal level that would require two-thirds of automakers’ sales to be EVs by 2032.

Automakers and industry analysts are skeptical of the ambitious timetables. They’ve warned government officials that other factors, such as prices and the availability of EV chargers, could hinder such zero-emission goals.

New EV sales are woefully short of the federal government’s potential 67% market share target date of 2032, much less states wanting to reach 100% by 2035.

EVs accounted for 7.9% of all new auto sales in the third quarter ending in September, which was up from 6.1% the same time last year, according to Cox Automotive.

The lack of public EV charging stations remains one of the driving factors behind the industry’s sluggish growth, analysts say.

Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act offers up to $7,500 in tax credits for new EVs, offsetting sticker prices that are higher than that of their gas-powered equivalents.

Environmental groups argue that EV mandates will fast-track investment in the technology, which they say will bring down car prices. They also highlight the savings to consumers from not having to buy gas.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., New Jersey Democrat and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said his state’s action “will accelerate the process of transforming our transportation sector for the benefit of public health and the environment.”


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