These 12 States Are Banning Gas-Powered Car Sales

Thinking of keeping your trusty car running? — It won't happen.
Written by Jim Belt in News 16 May 2024

California is taking the lead in banning gas-powered cars, and other states are jumping on the bandwagon. The California Air Resources Board approved a measure in August 2022 that mandates all new cars, SUVs, and pickups sold in the state must have zero tailpipe emissions by 2035. This won’t affect the cars already on the road, but automakers and dealers will have to shift to selling electric vehicles (EVs) and some plug-in hybrids.

Governor Gavin Newsom commented, "Our cars shouldn't make wildfires worse -- and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn't melt glaciers or raise sea levels, threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines."

Key takeaways:

  1. They don't affect existing gas-powered cars or prevent buying used ones
  2. Medium and heavy-duty vehicles like large trucks will also be phased out later, by 2045 in California
  3. There is no nationwide federal ban yet, though President Biden aims for 50% new EV sales by 2030

What’s the Deal with California’s Regulation?

The Advanced Clean Cars II rule in California sets a timeline: zero-emission vehicles must make up 35% of new car and light truck sales by 2026, 68% by 2030, and hit 100% by 2035. California’s move influences other states, with 11 already planning to follow suit and more possibly joining.

Which States Are Joining the Ban?

Under Section 177 of the Clean Air Act, states can either stick with federal emissions standards or adopt California’s stricter guidelines. Seventeen states have historically followed California, but only Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington have committed to banning new gas-powered vehicles.


Delaware is on board after a public hearing in April 2023. Shawn Garvin, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, finalized the regulations to align with California’s standards.


Maine got a civilian petition in May 2023 urging the state to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II standards. A public hearing was held in August, and rulemaking is ongoing. Maine aims to implement the ban by 2028.


Governor Wes Moore announced in March 2023 that Maryland would ban gas-powered cars by 2035, citing public health benefits and cost savings.


Massachusetts was quick to adopt California’s rules, thanks to a trigger law that automatically aligns state policy with California’s emissions standards.

New Jersey

New Jersey is aiming for a 100% clean energy future by 2035. Governor Phil Murphy signed executive orders in March 2023 to kickstart the legislative process.

New York

New York was the fourth state to start banning gas-powered cars by 2035. Governor Kathy Hochul initiated the legislative effort in September 2022.


Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission voted in December 2022 to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2035, following California’s lead.


Pennsylvania lawmakers have agreed to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II regulations, but specific state rules are still in development.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island adopted the Advanced Clean Cars II regulations in May 2023. Governor Dan McKee emphasized the need to cut smog and address environmental justice.


In November 2022, Vermont lawmakers approved changes requiring new cars sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2030.


Washington, like Massachusetts, has a trigger law to automatically adopt California’s emissions regulations and has committed to the 2035 ban.

What About the Other States?


Colorado has adopted California’s zero-emission policies in the past but won’t ban gas-powered cars. Instead, the state aims to make EVs more affordable and practical.


Connecticut seemed ready to adopt California’s regulations but has shelved the plans due to political infighting.


Virginia’s situation is more complex. Republican lawmakers are fighting to decouple from California’s rules, but their efforts have been defeated so far.


Minnesota’s 2021 Clean Car Rule links it to California’s standards but doesn’t automatically trigger a ban on gas-powered vehicles. The likelihood of such a prohibition is low.

Can You Still Buy a Used Gas-Powered Car?

Yes, you can still buy used gas-powered cars or those from out-of-state. The bans don’t affect existing vehicles or prevent you from buying a used car. The average car lasts about 12 years or 200,000 miles, so gas-powered cars will be around for a while.

Are Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles Included?

Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles produce a large portion of greenhouse gas emissions. California aims for these vehicles to be 100% zero-emission by 2045. The state will ban the sale of large diesel trucks starting in 2036.

Is There a Nationwide Ban?

President Joe Biden aims for half of all new vehicle sales in the US to be electric by 2030. The federal government is focusing on building charging infrastructure and revising EV tax credits but hasn’t proposed a nationwide ban on gas-powered cars.

Viability of the Ban

There are concerns about the affordability and infrastructure for EVs. CNET’s EV expert, Antuan Goodwin, highlights that plug-in cars are currently more expensive and seen as a luxury. However, lower operating costs could benefit consumers in the long run. Goodwin also points out the need to expand plug-in infrastructure and repurpose gas stations.

Which Carmakers Are Going Electric?

Several automakers have announced timelines to phase out gas-powered vehicles:

  • General Motors: Zero-emission by 2035, carbon-neutral by 2040.
  • Jaguar: All-electric by 2025.
  • Volvo: All-electric by 2030.
  • Rolls-Royce: All-electric by 2030.
  • Honda: All-electric by 2040.
  • Ford: All-electric in Europe by 2030.
  • Stellantis: 100% electric in Europe and 50% in the US by the end of the decade.
  • Mercedes-Benz: Battery-electric versions of all models by 2025.
  • Volkswagen: All-electric in Europe by 2033.
  • Toyota: Mixed approach, with a focus on EVs by 2040.

Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, plans to go fully electric by 2035.

The shift to electric vehicles is gaining momentum, but it’s clear there’s still a long road ahead. Whether you’re a fan of classic combustion engines or excited about the electric future, these changes are set to redefine the automotive landscape.