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New Jersey Implements Plan to Phase Out Gasoline-Powered Vehicles by 2035

New Jersey officials announced on Tuesday that the state will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 as part of a larger effort to enhance air quality and reduce climate change-causing pollutants.

Starting January 1, a new regulation commits New Jersey to a gradual transition towards zero-emission vehicles, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Several other states, including California, Vermont, New York, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Connecticut, have taken similar steps to phase out gasoline vehicle use.

The state of New Jersey will begin limiting the sale of new gasoline-powered cars starting in 2027, eventually reaching complete elimination by 2035. However, this measure does not restrict the ownership or use of gasoline-powered vehicles nor does it force consumers to switch to electric vehicles.

The rule also does not apply to used cars powered by gasoline, and consumers are still free to purchase gas-fueled cars outside of New Jersey as long as they meet specific emissions standards.

Credits: DepositPhotos

Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said, “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.”

Shawn LaTourette, the state’s environmental protection commissioner, emphasized the importance of reducing transportation-related pollution, which is a significant contributor to poor air quality and climate change in New Jersey and the entire nation.

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Business groups have strongly opposed the regulation since news of its implementation began circulating earlier this year.

Ray Cantor, a representative from the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, expressed concerns about the ban, stating, “This ban of the sale of new gas-powered cars in such an expedited time does not take costs or feasibility into account,” and highlighting factors such as infrastructure limitations and grid capacity.

Cantor also argued that the ban disregards consumer choice and the needs of low- and moderate-income families.

Credits: DepositPhotos

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On the other hand, environmental organizations are celebrating the decision. Anjuli Ramos-Busot, the director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, described it as a “huge win” for the environment, public health, and communities that are affected by pollution from congested roads.

Kathy Harris, an official from the Natural Resources Defense Council, emphasized the far-reaching benefits of the electric vehicle revolution, even for those who do not plan to drive an electric vehicle themselves.

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