Recent EV Developments In Other Northeastern States


The past few days have brought a range of significant headlines relating to EV policy and proposed Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandates in other states throughout the Northeast. A recap can be found below.

 

  • In Connecticut, Governor Lamont Governor Lamont “pulled” the proposed regulations to ban the sale of diesel trucks and gasoline-powered cars the day before it was scheduled to be voted on. The Lamont administration worked feverously over the Thanksgiving holiday to secure the votes necessary to implement the EV ban, but were unsuccessful in flipping the votes needed for passage so he withdrew the proposal before facing a certain and humiliating defeat. Here are a few potential pathways for what could happen next in Connecticut:
    1. The plan could be resubmitted for a vote to the Regulation Review Committee.
    2. The plan could be taken up by the Connecticut General Assembly in February.
    3. Or the plan could be held indefinitely effectively killing it.

 

  • In Delaware, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) announced on November 29 it has finalized regulations to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) program. The final regulations require 82% of new car sales of light- and medium-duty vehicles be zero emission (ZEVs) by 2032 – stopping short of the original regulations which took the requirement to 100% by 2035. The regulations require automakers to deliver an increasing amount of ZEVs for sale in Delaware beginning in model year 2027 with 43% and going up each year until it reaches 82% by 2032. They will expire in model year 2033 capping new car sales at 82% in perpetuity pending DNREC’s annual reviews of the program. The final regulations are set for publication in the Delaware Register of Regulations on December 1, 2023.

 

  • In New Jersey, Governor Murphy spoke earlier this week at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association’s Annual Public Policy Forum. He did not address the NJDEP’s adoption of the 2035 EV mandate which will be official later this month. However, at the same event, Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) the powerful chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee per ROI-NJ stated, “I know everybody in this room fully understands the need to invest in green energy and move in that direction — I don’t think anybody here is opposed to that. However, to be practical about it, 2035 is not happening. There is a significant amount of federal investment in our infrastructure that needs to go on before we can tell everybody to go out and buy an electric car. I am sure somebody in the DEP thought this was a great idea to get a great headline, but it’s not practical and we know that. And I think you all know that.” In August 2022 Senator Sarlo publicly stated the NJDEP’s then-proposed electric boiler regulation was not practical. The regulation was ultimately not adopted. What ultimately happens with the NJ 2035 EV mandate may not be known until a new Governor is in office after 2025.

Note: updates below are provided by the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, the Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Distributors Association, and the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey.

 

Where does Pennsylvania stand on EV policy?
Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have all adopted some form of California Air Quality Board (CARB) policy that attempt to either 1) reduce and/or 2) eliminate transportation related pollutant and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions regulations under Section 177 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. §7507). Twelve other states have previously adopted some form of legislation and/or regulation that references CARB based policies within their jurisdiction by reference. This results in any CARB related policy determined in California to have an impact in these states. Much of the policy initiatives in Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey that focus internal combustion engine (ICE) bans by 2035 are tied back into being a CARB state that have adopted Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations.

Pennsylvania is not adopted the ZEV regulation of CARB to date. PA DEP attempted to propose a 22% ZEV regulation in 2021 that did not gain traction under the Wolf Administration. No major EV policy has been proposed under the Shapiro Administration during his first 11 months in office as he has governed with split legislative chamber. Pennsylvania however has been one of the first states to issue the federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) funding (read more here). The PPA is continuously engaged in monitoring EV related policy proposals including House Bill 1240 and a pending PUC EV rate design case. Debate over electric vehicles and electric heat pumps will most likely ramp up in 2024 as the state moves into the 2024 legislative session.