This state is next to put gas-powered vehicles on the chopping block

Photo By Rathaphon Nanthapreecha from Pexel

California has led the way in pushing its progressive “green” agenda on Americans.

But it seems like more and more states are jumping on the anti-capitalist bandwagon.

And now this state is next to put gas-powered vehicles on the chopping block.

Virginia repeals ban on CA emissions standards

A bill in Virginia would have repealed a law from 2021 tying its vehicle emissions standards to similar ones in California.

But the bill died in a Senate Committee, despite how hard Senate Republicans pushed to keep it alive.

Republicans tried to convince the Committee that the electric vehicle (EV) laws in California were not feasible for Virginia thanks to their high costs, a lack of demand, and a variety of flaws that have yet to be addressed.

They also tried to persuade Committee members that they were letting the laws of California dictate how Virginia’s laws were implemented by killing the ban. 

Republican Senator Richard Stuart said that “we, in every sense of the word, ceded our authority to the air board of California – not even the California legislature, just the air board. That was part of the big frustration for me, and it is now: We are not determining our own destiny.”

But Democrat Senator Ghazala Hashmi defended the Clean Cars Act and said Democrats were simply listening to their constituents.

“There are only two emissions standards in the country. One is the federal standard and the second is the more strict California standard, so I would argue that we did not cede our authority to California. We adopted the stricter standard in order to meet our own zero-emission goals,” Hashmi said.

While Republicans constantly reassured Democrats that they also want a clean environment, they emphasized that the environmental goals of California aren’t sustainable goals for the Commonwealth. 

California’s zero-emission program was adopted in 2022 and mandates that 100% of new car sales be EVs by 2035.

The transition starts by requiring that 35% of new cars sold must be EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by 2026 and be 68% by 2030.

Hybrid electric vehicles that work with both battery power and combustible engines can contribute to 20% of a manufacturer’s zero-emission quota as long as they have an all-electric range of 50 miles or higher.

Virginia adopted the program in 2021, requiring automakers that fail to meet EV standards to pay a $5,000 fine for every EV credit they fall short of.

Four EV credits are earned for every EV sold and 1.3 credits are earned per plug-in hybrid with a range of 50 miles or more.

Not a viable plan

Despite a spate of generous subsidies designed to help bring the cost of a new Tesla under $20,000 for certain qualified buyers in California, EV sales fell short.

In 2023, those sales were 300,000 units lower than expected, partially due to automakers like Ford choosing to cut production of its EV products.

According to recent data from Cox Automotive, EV inventory was much higher than gas-powered inventory, with EVs having 114 days of for-sale inventory compared to an industry average of 71 days.

Despite the concerns about Virginia’s capacity to handle the new infrastructure, battery disposal problems, and other issues, Democrats remained steadfast in moving forward with the Clean Cars Act.

Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.