New Jersey Opts in To Ban Gas-Powered Vehicles

Seventeen states will now follow California’s rigid vehicle emission requirements instead of the federal standards. That means they’re considering a total ban on gas-powered vehicles and New Jersey is one of them.

As of June 2022, there are 80,583 electric vehicles registered in New Jersey. This number includes Battery Electric Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. A few short years ago, in 2012, there were only 338 electric vehicles registered in the state. The chart to the left shows how the number of electric vehicles registered in New Jersey has grown over the past few years.

NJ Department of Environmental Protection

In a statement, New Jersey’s state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hanja said that the agency is “committed to achieving the bold clean energy and emissions reduction goals set out by Gov. Murphy.”

The backstory is, on Aug. 25, the California Air Resources Board voted to ban the sale of gas-powered cars entirely by 2035—a move impacting seventeen states that follow California’s emission regulations.

New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, Virginia, and New Mexico have all chosen to opt into California’s standards instead of the federal government’s requirement.

NJ Department of Environmental Protection

If California decides to implement any more specific conditions, then every state tied to California’s standards must follow suit.

The Clean Air Act is a federal law requiring states to implement federal vehicle emissions standards or opt under Section 177 to follow California’s more stringent requirements.

States Are Resisting The Ban

Not every state tied to California’s emission requirements plans to follow the gas-powered ban. Some states, like Virginia, are exploring legal options to resist it. Colorado states that California’s ban is flawed and won’t adopt it at this time.

“While the governor shares the goal of rapidly moving towards electric vehicles, he is skeptical about requiring 100 percent of cars sold to be electric by a certain date as technology is rapidly changing,” the Colorado Energy Office told the AP.

On Aug. 30, Gov. Janet Mills (D-Maine) said she doesn’t support California’s ban, and Maine won’t follow suit.

“I would not be inclined to adopt any mandate along those lines. Make electric vehicles available, rebates available—but not a mandate,” Mills stated.

Other states like Delaware, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Nevada have regulations requiring a certain percentage of vehicles sold to be “zero-emission” by a specific date. Nevertheless, their laws don’t cede power to California.

Minnesota Auto Dealers Association (MADA) filed a lawsuit with the State Court of Appeals, arguing that the law improperly delegates the state’s authority to the California Air Resources Board.

“There’s a state law that says one agency can’t write rules for another agency, in this case the agency writing the rules for the MPCA is the California Air Resources Board,” stated MADA president Scott Lambert.

Minnesota isn’t the only state with a coalition fighting against instituting a gas-powered vehicle ban.; Virginia’s emissions laws went into effect under the previous Northam administration. But Virginia’s new Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) publicly said he views the law as “ludicrous” and vowed to challenge the law.


As for New Jersey, we will have to see if incumbent New Jersey Governor Murphy or the next Governor will express the same sentiment. One argument is that the weather in New Jersey is very favorable to Electric Vehicles, despite the fact that we have had a very hot summer. New Jersey has not experienced the destructive heat waves that plagued the Midwestern and Western States.

NJ Department of Environmental Protection

The next New Jersey gubernatorial election is scheduled to take place on November 4, 2025. Incumbent Democratic Governor Phil Murphy is term-limited and ineligible to seek a third consecutive term. Jack Ciattarelli, the Republican Nominee for Governor in 2021, has stated he intends to run again. Republican Governors have, for the most part, resisted the stringent California ban.


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  1. When asked on Thursday whether he really plans to opt in to implement a ban on gas-powered vehicles, New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy told reporters: “No, I changed my mind on that one; it could cause irreparable harm to the auto industry, and it might jeopardize my re-election chances. I’ve decided, instead, to ban all gas stations.”

  2. Good luck getting me out of my suburban that has over two hundred and twenty three thousand miles and drives like a baby.

    Sorry Governor, it ain’t going to happen.

  3. The common sense residents of New Jersey have 2 choices
    1- Vote into office Politicians that will change the law
    2- MOVE to another State

    I choose option 2

  4. In New Jersey you can’t even fill your own tank because Mommy government needs to baby the poor gas station attendants. What will happen with all those jobs.

    Will the law prohibit you from charging the vehicle yourself?

    • I am with you on that one. I’m sure that I am not the only one who doesn’t have great credit and absolutely $0.00 as a down payment!! Will the government foot the bill?!?

  5. Sorry to say but holy you know what has to break loose if they decide to do this without at least it’s going to the people. Who the hell gives them a right to decide what to do? That’s not what they were elected for!

    This is yet another reason why we need to remove the leftists from political office. Enough is enough! Enough of tyrannical government already!

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