On Thursday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul affirmed that the state will follow California in mandating all new vehicles sold by 2035 to be zero emissions. She released a statement saying that she’s directed the state’s environmental agency to “propose and finalize rules adopting California’s plan setting yearly rising zero-emission vehicle rules starting in 2026 that phases out gasoline-only new car sales by 2035.”
This will set in motion the regulatory procedure to enforce a law she signed last year.
The rules require automakers to have 68% of all new vehicle sales fully electric or PHEV by 2030. The authorities then need that recent plug-in hybrid sales to drop to just 20% of sales by 2035. The Biden Administration calls for 50% of sales to be EVs by 2030.
To reach that goal, 35% of new cars must be zero-emission by 2026 and 60% by 2030. Moreover, the rule will require new school buses to also be zero emissions by 2035.
“With sustained state and federal investments, our actions incentivize New Yorkers, local governments, and businesses to transition to electric vehicles. We had to wait for California to take a step because there are some federal requirements that California had to go first; That’s the only time we’re letting them go first,” Hochul said in a press conference on Thursday.
The state is following California’s actions for a reason: the Clean Air Act entitles California to set pollution rules, but other states can’t do that. However, they can follow California once it acts, which is why California paved the way for any emissions rules implemented by individual states.
The rule is expected to be embraced by the 15 states currently signed onto California’s zero-emission vehicle program, which includes New York.
As of 2020, 103.8 million passenger vehicles were registered in the US, including taxi cabs and commercial vehicles. California and New York jointly accounted for just over 18 million, or almost 18% of the total.
Many automakers have started/ will start making electric lineups by the end of this decade; the core issue would be getting the public ready for EVs.