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September 27, 2021
New York bans new sales of gas-powered vehicles beginning in 2035

New York has passed legislation to ban the sale or lease of new gas-powered cars and trucks in the state beginning in 2035. Governor Kathy Hochul signed Assembly Bill A4302/S2758 into law on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

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The law set the goal for the state to require zero emissions for any new cars, trucks, off-road vehicles, and equipment sold in the state by 2035. Heavy- and medium-duty truck sales will be required to follow suit by 2045.

“New York is implementing the nation's most aggressive plan to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions affecting our climate and [to] reach our ambitious goals, we must reduce emissions from the transportation sector, currently the largest source of the state's climate pollution,” Hochul says in a press release. “The new law and regulation mark a critical milestone in our efforts and will further advance the transition to clean electric vehicles, while helping to reduce emissions in communities that have been overburdened by pollution from cars and trucks for decades.”

New York joins California, which enacted similar rules last year when Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order “requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector.”

Massachusetts has announced it is considering similar legislation.

“Using California's Advanced Clean Trucks Rule as a template, the proposed regulation would require truck manufacturers to transition to clean, electric zero-emission vehicles,” Hochul adds in the press release. “Truck manufacturers would be required to meet a certain annual sales percentage of zero-emission trucks, which will vary among vehicle weight classes, beginning with model year 2025. By the 2035 model year, at least 55 percent of all new Class 2b-3 pickup trucks and vans, 75 percent of all new Class 4-8 trucks, and 40 percent of all new Class 7-8 tractors sold in New York State will be zero-emission. The proposed regulation provides medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturers with several compliance options and would require a one-time reporting from applicable truck fleets.”

Part of downstate New York is classified as a nonattainment area, as it does not meet federal health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

The state has taken an aggressive stance on cleaning up air pollution. As part of its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), the state has set the ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85%, with a 2050 deadline.

To meet these goals, the NY Climate Action Council has made a number of recommendations, including the adoption of California’s zero-emissions vehicle sales requirements.

“The law also requires the development of a zero-emissions vehicle development strategy by 2023, which will be led by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to expedite the implementation of the State policies and programs necessary to achieve the law's new goals,” according to the governor’s press release.

New York has committed to investing more than $1 billion in zero-emissions vehicles over the next 5 years. “Active medium- and heavy-duty truck initiatives include zero-emission truck purchase vouchers through the New York Truck Voucher Program (NYTVIP) and the New York City Clean Trucks Program, the ‘EV Make Ready’ initiative to help expand electric vehicle use, fleet assessment services, and the $24 million electric Truck and Bus Prize Challenge.”

Automobile manufacturers are paying attention, and the industry appears to be making the shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles. Several have announced they will move to exclusively manufacturing zero-emissions vehicles, including Alpine, Bentley, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar, Lotus, Mini, and Volvo, says RACV, an Australian company that provides insurance and other services to motorists.

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