Two commonwealths are legally bound to follow the state of California in banning the sale of new internal combustion-powered vehicles by 2035, with additional states likely to follow suit. A major Massachusetts climate law signed earlier this month by Republican Gov. Baker includes a provision requiring all new vehicles sold in the Bay State to be EVs or hydrogen-powered by 2035 — if California adopted such a measure.
Similarly, a 2021 Virginia law adopted California EV sales targets, and the Old Dominion’s Republican assistant Attorney General has concluded it is “statutorily and regulatorily aligned with California” and is “bound” by the new targets. Virginia Republicans tried to repeal the 2021 law last year, despite its support from the powerful Virginia Automobile Dealers Association. While the new California standards have been generally well-received by the automotive industry, unlike last year, Virginia now has a Republican governor and a Republican-controlled lower chamber eyeing legislation in 2023 to decouple Virginia from California’s standards. (Massachusetts: Boston Globe $, NBC Boston, WWBT; Virginia: (Virginia Mercury, AP, Fox Business, 13 News Now; Auto Industry: New York Times $)