Ironic Plot Twist Slams The Brakes On Maine Vote To Ban Gas Cars
A row of electric vehicles is plugged in and charging at public electric vehicle charging stations in San Ramon, California, April 5, 2023. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

An ironic plot twist caused a planned vote to limit sales on gas-powered cars in Maine, forcing a transition to electric vehicles, to come to a screeching halt: a widespread power outage following recent storms that brought heavy rains and high winds.

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection was scheduled to take a final vote on the proposal — which would have called for electric and plug-in hybrids to total 43% of new vehicle sales by 2027 and over 80% by 2032 — but after Governor Janet Mills (D-ME) declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, the vote was postponed until early February.

In addition to the vote being postponed, the effective date of the potential policy has been pushed to 2028 for the first threshold. The board would reevaluate the situation in 2028 to determine the next steps in whether a full transition to electric vehicles would be feasible.

A non-binding vote in October showed that the majority of the board supported the move, but there has been a fair amount of pushback from car dealers and Republican lawmakers. U.S. Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) has also issued a statement opposing it.

“The Maine Board of Environmental Protection will vote on proposed rules that would establish a California-style set of mandates forcing Maine auto dealers – and ultimately their customers – to purchase zero emission vehicles,” Golden said. “Earlier this year, I submitted testimony in opposition to such a mandate and have taken every opportunity in Congress to vote against policy that amounts to de facto electric vehicle mandates. Forcing Mainers to purchase cars and trucks powered by electricity when our grid is insufficient, charging stations are few and far between, and a storm like yesterday’s would render 80% of cars useless is, to say the least, ill-advised. As I wrote in my testimony, keeping Maine’s environment healthy is a goal we all share, but it’s one that demands thoughtful, place-based policy-making – not the broad-stroke application of a California law that would place an undue burden on hard-working Mainers.”

Several types of vehicles would be exempt from the policy even if it passes, according to a report from the Bangor Daily News. Among them: “emergency, off-road, rural postal carrier and military vehicles, along with rental vehicles with a final destination outside Maine.”


Electric vehicles made up just 6% of new vehicle sales in Maine this year.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Ironic Plot Twist Slams The Brakes On Maine Vote To Ban Gas Cars