Proposed Zero-Emission Standards

Posted on 12-26-2022

News from State Senator

Brian Pettyjohn

Serving the 19th Senatorial District

In March, Governor John Carney announced that Delaware would join 13 other states in adopting California’s strict zero emission regulations, which will ban the sale of most new gas and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035. The stated goals are to reduce the amount of pollution in the air and provide Delaware drivers with more choices. This, however, only limits many of the options Delaware drivers will have when selecting new vehicles for their personal and business use.

Our caucus certainly recognizes the draw of electric vehicles (EV) and are not opposed to them or, in general, alternative sources of power. EVs may very well be the future of transportation on Delaware roadways. However, placing an arbitrary date to implement the sales ban of most new gasoline or diesel vehicles is reckless. Further, it’s unclear whether DNREC has the statutory authority to enforce this on Delawareans.

From a practical standpoint, the ban will hurt lower income families the most. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average cost of a gasoline-powered new car in October 2022 was $48,281. The average price of a new EV in October 2022 was nearly $16,000 more, or $64,249. A replacement EV battery can cost upwards of $20,000. Businesses that utilize larger pickup trucks, box trucks, etc. will also be hit hard as the standards affect any vehicle, passenger or commercial, weighing 14,000 pounds or less.

Another unintended consequence is the negative effect the ban will have on small independently owned repair shops. Much like cell phones and other technology, EV repair must be done by manufacturer-authorized shops rather than the many automobile repairmen and women currently in the field. This could spell the end for hundreds of Delaware small businesses.

These are several of the numerous reasons that our caucus opposes the Carney Administration’s proposed zero-emission vehicle regulations.

The recordings of the two most recent public workshops can be viewed here:

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