What States Are Banning Gas Cars? (Full List + Timeline)

Have you ever wondered what the future of transportation might look like? Are internal combustion-engine vehicles (ICEVs) included in that future?

If the governors of 12 states have their way, the sale of new gas-powered cars and passenger trucks will be completely banned by the year 2035. 

The governors of the 12 states are also asking the Biden administration to end the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in all 50 states starting in 2035 to shift away from the use of fossil fuels.

Although President Biden’s infrastructure plan calls for $174 billion in spending and tax credits for the electric vehicle industry, it does not go as far as phasing out the manufacturing and selling of gas-powered vehicles nationwide.

In this article, we’ll discuss what states are banning ICE vehicles and their timeline for doing so.

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What are the first states to ban gas-driven cars?

The governor of California signed an executive order in September 2020, making California the first state to implement a 2035 deadline for banning the sale of all new gas-powered cars and passenger trucks to put the state on a path of zero-emission producing vehicles.

A year later, New York also set a date of 2035 to have all new cars and trucks have zero emissions.

New medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will have until 2045 to meet the goal.

However, Washington state may become the first state to actually ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles and passenger trucks.

A newly signed bill by Gov. Jay Inslee in early 2022 targeted a 2030 date of selling only zero-emission cars and passenger vehicles.

The following states aim to phase out gas-driven cars by 2035:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington (2030)

Within the next 15-20 years, we will probably see electric cars be mandatory.

What is a realistic timeline for this to happen?

At first glance, reaching 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2030 or 2035 may seem a bit ambitious.

However, the governors of the 12 states are committed and united in reaching this goal by the set date.

Support for a quick phase of gas-powered vehicles has even loftier goals outside of the United States, where 60 countries plan to ban the sale of ICEVs at various set deadlines.

Most industry experts project that EV sales will balloon in the coming years.

This is also one of the main reasons petrol and diesel cars will soon be history.

Currently, EVs take up only about 5% of the market share in the United States, but experts project that to skyrocket to 60% by 2035 to 2040 given current regulations and the trajectory of technology in the electric vehicle industry.

Although time will ultimately tell, it’s safe to say that the automobile industry will start moving toward EVs at a lightning pace in the coming years, although it’s unclear how many – if any – states will reach the goal of phasing out gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

We will also soon start to see gas stations becoming unprofitable.

We did an article here about whether gas stations will disappear after 2035.

How is the White House responding?

The 12 states have a strong proponent in terms of phasing out electric vehicles in President Biden, although the President has not yet implemented any nationwide restrictions when it comes to buying gas-powered cars and trucks or publicly supported or opposed the states’ stance on phasing out ICEVs.

The Biden administration, however, has a lofty plan of reaching 50% EV vehicles by 2030.

Also, in an executive order signed in December 2021, President Biden announced the U.S. government plans to end the purchase of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, a move that aligns with the other 12 states.

The executive order states that all light-duty vehicles bought by the federal government will be emission-free by 2027.

The overall goal is to reduce emissions created by the federal government’s vehicle fleet by 65% by 2030.

President Biden is also pushing Congress to approve tax credits of up to $12,500 for EV purchases as part of his infrastructure plan that also includes $175 billion for a stronger EV charging network across the country.

When to expect a nationwide ban on gas-driven cars?

Although Biden’s plan calls for 50% sales of new EVs by 2030 – which is not legally binding – there have been no announcements or indication of a nationwide ban on electric vehicles anytime in the future.

More states may join the list of 12 states that have already banned the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2030 and 2035.

However, with all of the momentum heading toward increased production and sales in the EV market – as well as increased environmental regulations – it’s entirely possible that a nationwide ban on gas-driven vehicles is not out of the question in the future.

As the months and years pass, a clearer picture will surface in regards to how prominent electric vehicle sales will be in 5, 10, or 15 years down the road.

Most industry experts believe that half of the vehicles on the road will be electric in the next 15 years.

But it’s still unknown whether more states will enact gas-powered vehicle bans in the future and what ultimately the federal government’s role will be regarding a nationwide ban.

How does the shortage of cars come into play?

Despite recent shortages in electric vehicles and some of their parts, Americans are still buying electric vehicles at a record pace.

This also means that electric cars won’t get cheaper anytime soon.

The shortage includes semiconductors and chips – which are essential to electric vehicles – as well as rising gas prices and higher costs for lithium and other materials needed to manufacture EV batteries,

The demand for EVs is much higher than what many manufacturers can provide consumers, according to Ford Motors, and customers are buying electric vehicles as fast as they are being produced.

According to the New York Times, vehicles that run on batteries sold between April and June accounted for 5.6 percent of new-car sales in the United States. 

That’s twice the number from just two years ago.

However, despite the strong sales, the shortage in EVs is slowing down a possible full EV revolution that will likely eventually come once manufacturers have the parts and equipment to fast-track their manufacturing efforts.

Are electric cars affordable for the middle-class?

Unfortunately, the cost of buying an electric car is out of reach for the typical middle-class American.

An increase in demand and a shortage in parts have caused the cost of the average EV to skyrocket.

According to Edmonds.com, the average cost of an electric car is now $61,000 – well out of range of what a typical middle-class American can afford.

The average cost of a gas-powered vehicle has also increased dramatically to $46,000.

Overall, the cost of buying an electric vehicle has increased about 14% over the past year.

The higher prices could eventually hinder the rapid growth of the electric vehicle market if lower- or middle-income Americans are unable to afford to buy one.

What happens if you just bought a gas-driven vehicle?

There’s no indication that any upcoming bans on the purchase of new ICE vehicles will have any impact on whether you recently bought a gas-powered car, plan to buy one later this year, or if you buy one 10 years from now.

The bans in states such as California and New York starting in 2035 are limited only to the sale of all “new” cars and passenger trucks.

Also, without a nationwide plan, there would be nothing preventing a resident from California, for example, from driving to a nearby state where there isn’t a ban and purchasing a gas-powered car.

Conclusion

Even without a shortage of electric vehicles to keep up with the current demand – as well as a shortage in parts such as chips and semiconductors – it doesn’t appear the electric vehicle industry is slowing down any time soon.

In the end, only time will tell if more state governors will sign laws implementing the ban on the sale of gas-powered vehicles or whether the federal government will push for nationwide bans on the sale of EV vehicles.

For now, drivers are living in an interesting time where both EV and gas-powered vehicles are sharing the road.

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