New rules put Vermont on the road to phasing out sales of gas-powered cars

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 5:38 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Changes to the new cars you can purchase are coming by 2026 thanks to a rule change in Vermont.

All that’s left is a filing with the secretary of state and Vermont’s clean car requirements will change. You will start seeing that with cars in the model year 2026.

Last week, the Vermont legislative committee on rulemaking passed out Advanced Clean Cars II and Advanced Clean Trucks.

The changes coming are regulations for car manufacturers, requiring them to create an increasing number of electric vehicles and ship those to Vermont.

Starting in 2026, 35% of new and lightly used vehicles sold in Vermont would be zero-emission, ramping up year after year, and by 2030, all new cars sold in the state would be zero emissions.

Right now that number is about 7%.

Jane Lazorchak with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources says there are also consumer protections built in.

“There are also great consumer protections with these new rules, thinking about increased longevity of warranties, right to repair protections, that will be there in place with electric vehicles hopefully making them more attractive to consumers over time,” Lazorchak said.

This does not impact the used car market. Lazorchack says she expects the used car market to continue to offer gas-powered vehicles well into the future. She says used cars make up about two-thirds of Vermont’s car sales.

Based on the current timeline, Lazorchak expects the rules to be in effect in time for the new year.

A rule change is also coming that will require trucks to transition. Those rules fall under Advanced Clean Trucks. They have similar requirements to cars.

Lazorchak says the technology is just not there for trucks yet, so the ramp-up of electric trucks comes at a slower pace, allowing for more time for heavy-duty truck manufacturers to catch up.

The number of zero-emissions trucks sold in the state by 2030 is supposed to be 30%.