Some Republican lawmakers in Wyoming say electric vehicles are for city slickers, not the sparsely populated Cowboy State.
They recently introduced a bill that would ban EV sales statewide by 2035.
But one sponsor, Sen. Jim Anderson, told Automotive News that he doesn’t intend for the legislation to pass and doesn’t begrudge anybody buying EVs.
“It’s not good to dictate to the citizens what kind of vehicles they’re going to buy, because of all the problems” with EVs, he said. The bill, Anderson said, simply aims to “make a statement.”
It comes as a number of other states — notably California, whose Democratic governor is specifically referenced in the Wyoming legislation — move in the opposite direction, eyeing the end of internal combustion vehicle sales in favor of plug-ins.
The Wyoming bill, in contrast to what California is doing, Anderson said, aims to preserve customer choice.
“If we pass it or don’t pass it, it doesn’t matter,” he said.
The bill says EV proliferation will have “deleterious impacts” on the state’s communities and its economy, including oil and gas businesses that comprise “one of Wyoming’s proud and valued industries.”
The state’s vast stretches of highway lack sufficient charging infrastructure, the bill says, rendering widespread EV use impractical.
Automakers sold only 228 EVs in the first 11 months of 2022 in Wyoming, the latest time frame for which Experian has data. That’s second fewest in the country, leading only North Dakota, where 213 EVs were sold.