Gas-powered vehicles will be phased out in Connecticut over the next 12 years, according to a recent announcement from Gov. Ned Lamont. This is the latest phase of the governor’s ongoing plan to switch the state entirely to electric vehicles by 2035.
On Wednesday, the governor announced a proposal to adopt new vehicle emissions standards. Those standards would force vehicle manufacturers to produce cars with 90% cleaner emissions and produce 100% electric vehicles by the target date, although used gas-powered cars would still be available for purchase.
The proposal isn’t a surprise. These new regulations follow previous legislation signed in the state including a 2003 law that forces Connecticut to adopt the same standards as California for light-duty vehicles. A law signed last year created similar regulations for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, also following California’s emissions standards.
Connecticut is also not alone in its intention to reach these standards by 2035. It joins fellow New England states Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island, as well as nearby New York and New Jersey, and New Mexico.
The governor’s office has stated that these cleaner emissions standards will have the greatest benefit to those communities living along the state’s major highways and well-traveled roads, areas which include several environmental justice communities.
“Transportation is the biggest source of air pollution in Connecticut and disproportionately contributes to nitrous oxides, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter,” Jay Stange of Transport Hartford Academy, a lead organizer for the Transportation Climate Coalition, said. “These pollutants harm public health, especially in low-income, urban communities, where years of discriminatory land use and transportation policies have resulted in environmental justice communities being disproportionately burdened with particulate matter air pollution from vehicles.”
Electric vehicles have been growing in popularity over the last several years, as major auto manufacturers each introduced their own entry into the field. According to the governor’s office, EV registrations have increased 20% since the start of the year.
These vehicles have also become more affordable, with several models now going for less than $30,000. According to J.D. Power, 75% of consumers are expected to have an EV option available to them by 2026.
Another concern for those wary of making the switch? The potential range of any vehicle on a single charge. Historically, EVs low total mileage and long charge times combined with a scarcity of charging locations have made them inconvenient options for those who drive long distances.
Both legislators and manufacturers have been attempting to tackle this challenge. Late last year, the federal government gave the green light to a plan that would install charging stations along the state’s major highways. Most EVs these days can travel more than 250 miles on a single charge but often require at least eight hours to bring the battery from empty to full.
The new regulations would also include requirements that manufacturers increase battery life and offer better warranty protections to consumers.
Not everyone is going to be on board with these new regulations and the change will have to go before the bipartisan Regulation Review Committee.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is offering to hold public hearings on August 22nd, but only if they are requested. Public comment on both of the proposed sets of regulations will be available until August 23rd.
To read more and make a comment you can follow the following links:
- Proposed section 22a-174-37, Low NOx and ACT Regulation (PR2023-020)
- Proposed section 22a-174-36d, Advanced Clean Cars II (PR2023-023)