A proposal from New Jersey would ban gasoline-powered cars by 2035.
The proposal, which aims to reduce emissions in the state, is facing massive backlash.
The proposal follows a plan laid out by California that calls for phasing out gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
The proposal would require manufacturers to sell 43 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2027 and then work to 100 percent by 2035.
This applies to light commercial vehicles, anything weighing under 10,000 pounds.
The initiative is an attempt to curb air pollution in New Jersey. A 2022 study by the Department of Environmental Protection found that over a third of the state’s air pollution comes from traffic.
The reasons for the initiative are honorable, but some consider the time frame and economic aspects inappropriate.
“I’ll say it again: I think it’s too much, too fast and it’s too costly,” said Republican Sen. Tony Bucco
Electric vehicles accounted for just five percent of vehicle sales in New Jersey in 2022, but officials say it’s a fast-growing market that’s already expected to reach nine percent in 2023.
While some welcome the wave of electric vehicles, others are concerned about the costs involved.
Electric vehicles are more expensive than internal combustion engine cars, and a California study showed that the mandate could increase manufacturing costs per vehicle by between $400 and $1,000.
This monetary difference would likely be passed on to the consumer.
In addition, some question whether the infrastructure can be ready on time. Charging stations are nowhere near as available as gas stations.
In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, an author noted that low-income renters and families lack access to electric chargers overnight.
“Has Gov. Phil Murphy visited a low-income part of his state? Tenants do not have access to overnight electric vehicle charging,” wrote Patrick Henry.
The wording of the proposal is not yet set in stone, but opponents like Senator Bucco believe the California-inspired move will only hurt New Jersey.
“Most people don’t want New Jersey to be the California of the East Coast. “California is a mess,” Bucco said.