at issue

Fun, Fun, Fun, ’til NJ Takes Your Gas Car Away

The Murphy administration is about to impose the most draconian mandate on markets and consumer choice we have ever seen. The plan to ban sales of all new gas-powered cars by 2035 will change what we drive, how we drive and even who can afford to drive a car.

Automobile ownership has driven the economy and American culture since the Model Ts rolled off the assembly line. Henry Ford built an affordable vehicle, one his workers could buy, and made the dream of car ownership possible for millions of people. His invention changed the world and we have been in love with the dream of car ownership ever since.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s gas car ban will end that. Well, not for everyone. Rich people like him would still be able to afford higher priced electric vehicles – the only new cars allowed to be sold under this mandate. Low- and moderate-income people will have to take an electric bus, rideshare, or bike. So much for “stronger and fairer.”

EVs are a good choice for those who want them and can afford to buy them. But a ban on sales of new gas cars ignores the fact that EVs cost too much for most people, even with government subsidies. What matters most to most people is that they can afford the car in the first place, not whether the engine is powered by gasoline or a rechargeable battery.

EVs with limited range and longer charging times are also not convenient for extended road trips or for those who live in apartments, condos, or urban areas where it is challenging to charge cars. Single moms, for example, may feel unsafe waiting with their young child in an unfamiliar public EV charging area for an hour as their plug-in car charges. EVs also apparently don’t work for the governor, who is driven around in a large gas-powered state SUV. Yet he wants to mandate EVs for the rest of us.

We know how this will end. EVs are already stockpiled at dealerships because buyers with financial means have already bought their Teslas. Nearly everyone else has been priced out of the market or has decided EVs do not work for their needs. EV prices are going up due to supply chain issues, worldwide limits on essential materials, and government mandates.

If new gas cars cannot be sold in New Jersey, many people will lose the American dream of car ownership and the freedom that comes with it. Teenagers, seniors, and disadvantaged communities will be especially impacted. Maybe if you want a new car, New Jersey is not the state for you. Speak up now or you may be riding a bike to work before you know it.

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