June 5, 2024: Today, Governor Glenn Younkin of Virginia announced that Virginia will discontinue the adoption of California’s emissions mandate, which expires in December, and opting instead to go back to Federal rules. Governor Northam had signed legislation authorizing Virginia’s Air Board to adopt the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) vehicle emissions standards, dictating what cars Virginians could buy (ACC I). Attorney General Jason Miyares confirmed that Virginia state law does not require the state to follow California’s newer and more expansive version of CARB’s electric vehicle mandate (ACC II); Virginia will no longer be tied to the California policy.

ACI energy policy analyst Kristen Walker issued the following statement:

“The American Consumer Institute applauds Governor Younkin’s decision to end the California electric vehicle mandate that had been adopted by his predecessor. This action preserves the rights of Virginians to purchase the automobiles that are appropriate for them and their families, rather than being forced to buy something unsuitable to their needs and budgets. When electric vehicle sales were only nine percent in Virginia for 2023, it is clear that these cars are not for everyone. Governor Younkin has protected consumers throughout the Commonwealth as well as restored Virginia’s prerogative to govern itself; California should not be dictating policies for other states.”

Electric vehicles are an important option for car buyers, but consumer choice is even more important. This announcement is a huge win for the citizens of Virginia.