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NJBIA, state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and a majority of New Jersey residents oppose Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed ban of new gas-powered car sales by 2035. 

But what about automotive retailers, who have already invested billions in the EV marketplace that they believe will continue to grow? 

“Point Number One: We’re all in on EVs,’ New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers President Jim Appleton told the state Department of Environmental Protection at last week’s public hearing on the adoption of California’s Advanced Clean Car II rule. 

“Point Number Two is something I think we all need to acknowledge – which is New Jersey, and all the other ACC II states, will be a 100% EV sales market when consumers want to buy only EVs. Not when government mandates it. 

“Frankly, we believe this plan will frustrate and cause a consumer backlash that will slow our roll to an EV future, not accelerate it,” Appleton said. 

The proposed ACC II rule calls for an increase in EV sales from 8%, where it stands today, to 43% for model year 2027, 60% by 2030 and 100% EV sales by 2035. 

“How about we demonstrate the capacity to meet the current (ACC II) mandates before we double or triple down on even more stringent rules,” Appleton said. “Let’s acknowledge the fact that the current California plan we operate under calls for model sales this year to come in at 22%. We’re at less than 10%. 

“By imposing stringent and unrealistic mandates on the percentage of EVs manufacturers deliver for sale in New Jersey, it will not force more people to buy EVs if they cannot afford one, or if they cannot charge at home, or if they do not trust an anemic and unreliable public charging infrastructure.” 

On Labor Day weekend, NJBIA launched a campaign to stop the Murphy administration’s ban of the sale of new gas cars by 2035.  

Since then, nearly 2,500 letters have been sent to New Jersey lawmakers to put the brakes on the gas car ban.  

Additionally, thousands of comments on NJBIA Facebook posts have also overwhelmingly stated they will not be able to afford electric vehicles, or they prefer the freedom to choose their own type of automobile.  

And a collection of nearly 100 business, labor and nonprofit groups have sent a letter urging New Jersey legislative leaders to take action to stop the ban.  

Like NJBIA, NJCAR agrees that government mandates to restrict the supply of internal combustion engine vehicles will result in higher prices for all new vehicles. 

Appleton said it would be “throwing fuel on an inflationary fire that will make buying and owning a new car virtually unaffordable for working and middle-class families in New Jersey.”  

Appleton also maintains that if New Jersey opted to follow the proposed, and more stringent, EPA clean car rules, automakers would be forced to build and deliver more EVs for sale in New Jersey. But consumers would be afforded greater choice and there would be less impact on vehicle affordability.  

“We would urge the department to write into the regs a formal, midterm review process come 2026 to determine where we are with respect to compliance,” Appleton said, “and make recommendations to the Legislature and a new governor about what we must do to comply. Or to see whether reverting to the federal plan would better serve our shared goals of transitioning to a zero emission future.”