10 U.S. States Moving to Ban the Sale of Gas-Powered Cars

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California has set a precedent with its recent decision to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035, marking a significant victory in the ongoing battle against climate change. 

This groundbreaking rule, according to Henry Lee, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, presents its set of challenges but also a substantial opportunity. As the largest auto market in the nation, California’s shift could catalyze a broader transformation across the United States, already influencing other states to adopt similar environmentally progressive policies.

New Jersey 


New Jersey is positioning itself as a leader in climate action with its decision to require all new cars sold in the state by 2035 to be electric. This mandate, part of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s “Advanced Clean Cars II” rule, starts with a requirement that 43% of new light-duty vehicles manufactured in 2027 be electric, with this percentage increasing annually until it reaches 100% by 2035. 

While this move has been celebrated by the Murphy administration as critical in combating climate change, it has also raised concerns among industry groups about the potential increase in costs for car buyers. Additionally, the rule includes stricter exhaust emission standards for gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, aligning New Jersey’s regulations closely with those of California and other states.



Pennsylvania is on the path to greener transportation, having agreed to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II regulations—in line with California’s emissions legislation. 

Although specific details about Pennsylvania’s version of these regulations are still forthcoming, the state’s legislative alignment signals a strong commitment to reducing environmental impact and transitioning towards more sustainable vehicle standards.



Maine is actively considering a shift towards greener transportation. Following a civilian-driven petition, state officials convened in August 2023 for a public hearing, part of a broader dialogue about adopting the Advanced Clean Cars II standards. 

Though a rulemaking session planned for December was postponed due to severe weather, discussions resumed in March with another hearing. Should Maine implement these standards by 2028, it would mark a pivotal move in adopting policies that could drastically reduce vehicular emissions in the state.



Maryland’s initiative to ban gas-powered vehicles by 2035 is not only an environmental measure but a public health strategy. Governor Wes Moore, citing potential annual savings of nearly $40 million in healthcare costs related to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, announced the adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars II regulations in March 2023. 

This decision places Maryland at the forefront of states prioritizing health and environment through progressive transportation policies.

Rhode Island 


Rhode Island utilizes Section 177 of the Clean Air Act, banning gas-powered vehicles and implementing the Advanced Clean Cars II regulations as of May 2023. 

Governor Dan McKee emphasized that this policy is important for reducing smog and advancing environmental justice. He highlighted the urgency of addressing the transportation sector to meet Rhode Island’s stringent carbon reduction goals, set forth by the Act on Climate.



Vermont is stepping up its environmental efforts with new clean-car requirements mandating that all new cars sold in the state be zero-emission vehicles by 2030. 

This regulation is pending approval from Secretary of State Sarah Copeland Hanzas. 



In Delaware, a significant step was taken to reduce air pollution and enhance environmental health. In April 2023, Shawn Garvin, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, approved new regulations aligning Delaware with California’s stringent standards on the prohibition of gas-powered vehicles. 

This move updates Delaware’s existing Low Emission Vehicle program and aligns it with Section 177 of the Clean Air Act. The decision underscores a commitment to a cleaner, sustainable future, mirroring broader shifts towards eco-friendly transportation solutions across the nation.



Massachusetts was among the pioneers in committing to the elimination of gas-powered vehicles, planning for a ban by 2035. The decision, made back in August 2022, was part of the state’s adoption of California’s Advanced Clean Cars II legislation. 

Massachusetts employs a trigger law that automatically enforces any new emissions policies set by California, ensuring the state remains a leader in environmental stewardship and sustainable transportation.


Image by dinhhang/Depositphotos

Washington continues to align closely with California’s environmental policies, having adopted the Advanced Clean Cars II regulations simultaneously with Massachusetts. 

The adoption of these regulations, initiated by California in August 2022, underscores Washington’s commitment to a sustainable future. This trigger law ensures that Washington remains at the forefront of national efforts to transition towards a cleaner automotive industry.



In a decisive move, Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission voted in December 2022 to end the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035, aligning with pioneering states like California, Massachusetts, Washington, and New York by adopting the Advanced Clean Cars II regulations. 

Oregon’s commitment reflects a growing trend among states taking proactive steps to curb vehicular emissions and promote a cleaner, more sustainable transportation infrastructure.

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Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.