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More than one-third of US states may follow California and ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars. Here are the states that may be next.

  • California is expected to officially pass a rule banning the sale of new gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035 in the state.
  • Due to a legal loophole, more than one-third of US states may soon follow California's lead.

California is expected on Thursday to officially ban the sale of gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035, and due to a legal technicality, more than one-third of US states may soon follow suit.

California historically leads the way regarding emissions due to a carve-out in the US Clean Air Act, according to Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at UC Berkeley Law.

It is the only state in the US that can make emissions standard mandates beyond the federal government's. But the law also allows for a loophole that permits other US states to adopt California's standards without the federal government's approval, Elkind said.

While California's governor, Gavin Newsom, announced the state's plan to phase out gas-powered cars two years ago, the state's EPA is expected to vote on the measure on Thursday, making it official.

That means other states that have opted into California's standards will officially have the ability to follow suit. So far, 17 states have signed on to follow California's plan, though Elkind says there is no requirement for them to follow through.

California's rule does not ban the sale of gas-powered cars on the used car market. "You're not going to get fined if you drive a gas car after 2035. This is only about new car sales," Elkind said.

However, he added that as more states adopt California's measures, it could be a real "tipping point" for the electric vehicle industry.

"At some point, it's going to be hard to find a gas station... But that is not going to happen overnight," Elkind said.

Here are the states that have signed on to California's vehicle standards and may be next to ban the sale of gas-powered cars.