By David T. Stevenson, Director
Center for Energy & Environmental Policy
March 3, 2023
Without legislative action, Delaware state agencies are reviewing banning gasoline-powered cars and trucks, and banning natural gas and propane hookups to new buildings. Both actions are discussed in "Delaware's Climate Action Plan." Regulatory action has already started forcing vehicle manufacturers to stock 35% of electric vehicles (EV) in Delaware in only three years, eventually allowing only EV sales. Drivers will not be able to register a new gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle in Delaware by 2034.
A survey conducted by Ragnar Research in February 2023 found that 73% of Delaware voters opposed the gasoline and diesel-powered vehicle ban, with only 18% supporting the ban. Follow-up questions showed 60% strongly opposed while 9% strongly supported the ban.
Delaware legislators need to pay attention.
The survey found that 63% of the people who voted in the last two elections are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports such a ban, with only 12% more likely to vote for such a candidate.
We also asked about banning future hookups to natural gas and propane in new building construction, including heating, hot water, and cooking appliances. The survey found that 68% opposed the ban, while 20% supported the ban. When asked about voting for legislative candidates, 59% were less likely to vote for a candidate who voted for a ban, with 19% more likely to vote for a candidate supporting the ban.
The survey mirrors the Delaware population by location (by county with a separate count for the City of Wilmington), political party affiliation, age, gender, ethnicity, income, and education. The survey is accurate to +/- 6%. To view the survey results, please click here.
Electric vehicles cost an average of $14,000 more, weigh 1,000 pounds more, will require massive investment in charging stations, especially in cities where many lower-income homes have no dedicated parking, and will also need huge investments in electric grid infrastructure that will raise electric rates. Buying a used EV will be risky as the batteries (basically enormous cell phone batteries) have limited life and are very expensive to replace. For example, the Chevy Bolt lists a battery replacement cost of over $17,000.
Efficient electric heat pumps don't work well below 40° F, and natural gas and propane are the most efficient backup. They provide the most efficient tankless hot water, and many people swear by gas stoves.
These regulatory actions were initiated by executive orders by Governor Carney.
If you oppose these actions, we recommend you contact the Governor at Governor.Carney@Delaware.Gov (state's website: https://governor.delaware.gov/contact-connect/). You should also let your legislators know of your concerns (click here if you need help finding your legislators).