The California Air Resource Board’s decision to ban the sale of new gas-powered passenger vehicles by 2035 is likely to have an impact well beyond that state’s borders.
One state, New Jersey, is due to automatically adopt California’s standards, according to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents car manufacturers.
Under Section 177 of the Clean Air Act, other states may adopt California’s Advanced Clean Cars standards, and 17 currently follow some or all of the existing emissions rules, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, or C2ES.
Fourteen states have adopted both California’s zero-emission program as well as its standards for low-emission vehicles: Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
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Delaware, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia follow California’s low-emission vehicle standards.
CARB’s new regulations will take effect starting in 2026, when 35% of all car sales in the state must be for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), more than doubling the current share of ZEVs. The mandate will increase to 68% by 2030.
“California’s action can ... pave the way for matching ZEV targets around the country, potentially extending to the 17 states and the District of Columbia that follow California’s auto emissions standards and collectively rack up 40% of American passenger vehicle sales,” said Nathaniel Keohane, president of C2ES.
The biofuels industry had unsuccessfully urged CARB to make room for higher blends of ethanol.
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