Delaware moving closer to zero-emission cars

Plan would adopt California standards starting in 2026
November 10, 2022

Delaware’s plan to require automobile dealerships in the state to only sell zero-emission vehicles by 2035 is underway, with public meetings scheduled Nov. 15-17.

In March, Gov. John Carney announced that Delaware would adopt California’s zero-emission vehicle regulations, which require car and truck dealerships to phase in zero-emission vehicles starting in 2026 for 2027 model year vehicles. The required percentage of ZEVs carried by a dealership starts at 35% for 2026, ticking up about 8% each year until meeting the 100% requirement by 2035.

California adopted the regulations in August. Days later, California Gov. Gavin Newsome told residents to avoid charging their electric vehicles over concerns the power grid would be stressed during a heat wave.

As a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance since 2017, Delaware is committed to reduce carbon emission about 26% by 2025, Carney said.

“By adopting the ZEV regulations, Delaware drivers won’t have to go out of state to find an electric vehicle to purchase, and our dealerships will benefit by keeping Delaware customers in Delaware,” Carney said in a March press release announcing the regulations.

Two one-hour-long presentations on the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan will be offered at 5 p.m and 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 14, to provide information on the plan, review current electric vehicle infrastructure, and show how future EV infrastructure locations could be prioritized. State experts will be available to answer questions about EV infrastructure and provide feedback for the next phase of the planning process, officials said.

The presentation can be accessed at

Public workshops will be offered by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Air Quality on the following days:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. 
  • Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. 

To register, go to

A notice released by DNREC in April states it is aiming to adopt the California standards by spring 2023.

“Delaware is preparing for a transition to a clean transportation future,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “More choices from manufacturers, longer range and affordability are making it easier for consumers to switch to cleaner vehicles, including electric vehicles. DelDOT and DNREC are moving forward together with parallel efforts to assure a smooth transition.”


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