The state of California recently announced it will ban the sale of all gas-powered vehicles by 2035. While no announcement has been made so far, New Jersey may soon unveil a plan to do the exact same thing.

According to Ray Cantor, the vice president of government affairs for the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, this could cause a multitude of problems and the Garden State may not even have any say in the matter.

New Jersey has opted into the California clean-air standards, which are stricter than the national standards.

"We may not have any choice but to follow suit with California," Cantor said.

When it comes to new vehicle emission standards, states have the option of either following regulations set by the federal government or the stricter standards set by California. New Jersey is one of 16 states that have adopted the California standards.

Cantor said it’s unclear right now whether New Jersey would be legally required to follow the California gas car ban, or if the state could make its own decision.

Ban on sale of new gas-powered cars

Cantor doubts that New Jersey would have the resources to meet the demand of more electric-powered vehicles, which can be more expensive than gas-fueled cars.

Cantor said what is most concerning however is in 2035, when this plan could take effect, “we’re going to need to double of more our electrical capacity, and we have concerns that we don’t have the plans in place for that as well.”

He noted “while solar is increasing, while we’re looking toward wind, that’s not going to be near enough. You can’t just produce energy, you have to be able to connect it to a grid.”

He also noted many people won’t be able to afford to buy an EV unless prices drop significantly, and there are also major supply chain questions that could impact vehicle availability.

“There’s an awful lot of planning, there’s an awful lot of capital investment. We think the state’s goals of electrification are far ahead of its plans to make it actually work,” said Cantor.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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