‘no more excuses’ – new york announces new zero-emission vehicle mandate by 2035

Rivian R1T pickups in Times Square Source: Reuters

New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday there will be “no more excuses” not to buy an electric vehicle after directing the State Department of Environmental Conservation to take significant action to accelerate the state’s transition to clean transportation to protect the environment.

In White Plains, New York, Governor Hochul outlined the state’s new ambitious clean energy and climate goals. The most important takeaway is all new vehicles sold in the state of New York will now need to be zero-emission by 2035, the same requirement that was set in California by the state’s new Advanced Clean Cars II regulation.

California Air Resources Board (CARB) predicts California’s new regulation will cut emissions by 50% between 2026 and 2040. Since it passed, 18 other states have followed in California’s footsteps, adopting California’s Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandates, with New York being the most recent.

When the Governor first visited White Plains in 2015, she claims, she was greeted with visions of abundant EV charging and zero-emission vehicles, which is soon to be a reality.

NY is introducing several new initiatives to combat climate change and protect the environment, as Governor Hochul touts, “EVs are the key to achieving this.”

Governor Hochul Drives Forward New York’s Transition to Clean Transportation Source: NY Governor Kathy Hochul

The governor says electric vehicles have been a part of New York’s history for over 100 years, starting in Buffalo. The Buffalo Electric Carriage Company, created in 1900 and later known as the Buffalo Electric Vehicle Company, did not last long. It went out of business by 1916 as oil giants and their money bags took over the United States.

This time, electric vehicles are here to stay as New York reveals specific targets and initiatives to make it happen.

New York outlines electric vehicle requirements and initiatives

By 2035, all new passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs sold in New York will be required to be zero-emission. To ensure they get there, the governor outlined specific benchmarks along the way.

The percent of new vehicle sales that need to be zero-emission will increase as the plan progresses, with 35% being required by 2026, 68% by 2030, and 100% by 2035.

New York Governor Hochul states:

With sustained state and federal investments, our actions are incentivizing New Yorkers, local governments, and businesses to make the transition to electric vehicles. We’re driving New York’s transition to clean transportation forward, and today’s announcement will benefit our climate and the health of our communities for generations to come.

New York has a mandated goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 85% by 2050, and the new state regulations to accelerate its transition to electric vehicles will help it achieve this.

To help buyers that may be on the fence about buying an electric vehicle, New York is charging ahead with several initiatives to help lower costs and provide accessible charging options.

  • Zero-emission vehicle grants – New York is providing $5.75 million for municipalities to purchase or lease zero-emission vehicles for their fleets and to install public EV charging stations.
  • NYSERDA Drive Clean Rebate – $10 million is being added to New York’s Drive Clean Rebate to help buyers purchase an EV with an up to $2,000 rebate available in all 62 counties that can be used with the federal tax credit provided by the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • NYPA EVolve NY – The New York Power Authority (NYPA) just installed its 100th fast charger as part of the EVolve NY $250 million funding to build a state-wide fast charging network to accelerate electric vehicle adoption.
  • National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program – New York is receiving $175 million over the next five years from the federal NEVI program to establish an interconnected electric vehicle charging network.

New York has some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives to reduce harmful emissions by promoting the adoption of electric vehicles and protecting the environment with strict mandates. With these programs, the state is on track to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality and achieve its mandated carbon reduction goals.

Electrek’s Take

New York’s announcement provides a roadmap for how states can achieve meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while protecting the environment and the safety of those that live there.

California established the regulations, making it easier for other states to follow suit. New York is not stopping at passenger vehicles either. The state is investing in electric school buses to keep children safe, electric transport buses to keep communities safe, and in industries you wouldn’t expect, like street sweepers!

New York City just surpassed 4,050 city-owned electric vehicles, hitting its goal three years ahead of schedule, showing the city is stepping up in a big way.

Transitioning to clean energy and electric vehicles will not only promote a cleaner community but will also stimulate the economy by creating well paying jobs. The state estimates its over $35 billion in clean energy investments will support around 158,000 jobs while lowering energy costs for residents and creating a clean, reliable grid.

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