Law & Order

Connecticut Legislature Shelves Gas-Powered Vehicle Ban

Internal combustion enginesBy the SEMA Washington, D.C., office

In a win for the automotive specialty-equipment industry, the Connecticut legislature has shelved plans to adopt California's ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. This decision comes amid concerns about the feasibility of such a drastic transition, particularly regarding the readiness of the state's electric grid and charging infrastructure.

In late 2023, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont withdrew a SEMA-opposed regulation requiring the state to adopt California's strict motor-vehicle emissions laws and outlaw the sale of new gas- and diesel-powered cars beginning in 2035.

The move to withdraw the regulation came after bipartisan opposition from state lawmakers, with the governor acknowledging that the proposal lacked sufficient support to pass the legislature's Regulation Review Committee. Unlike the Democratic-controlled legislature, the committee is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

As a result, lawmakers had hoped to find a solution during a special session in early 2024 and then again during this year's regular legislative session. However, they could not reach a consensus about how to move forward.

While Democratic lawmakers have abandoned plans to push the ban forward, they will continue to focus on establishing a commission to address infrastructure challenges.

A recent poll commissioned by SEMA revealed that 59% of registered voters in Connecticut oppose a ban on the sale of new gas-and diesel-powered vehicles. Rising living costs and the potential financial burden on low-income families were cited as major concerns. Additionally, the poll found that 67% of voters believe electric vehicles pose environmental concerns related to battery production.

Before this policy shift, SEMA aired a statewide and online advertisement in Connecticut highlighting the industry's commitment to innovation and alternative fuel solutions. The ad showcased the industry's leadership in developing cleaner technologies and converting existing gasoline and diesel vehicles to electric, hydrogen and other alternative fuels. SEMA emphasized that encouraging free-market innovation, not mandates, is crucial for achieving meaningful emission reduction goals.

For more information, contact Christian Robinson at