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New York Will Ban Sale of New Gasoline Cars by 2035

Following a trend set by a number of states in the U.S., New York state has passed a law that sets a target for 100 percent of new passenger cars and trucks sold or leased in the state to be zero-emissions vehicles by the year 2035. The legislation was signed by Governor Kathy Hochul just a few days ago. The legislation contains a similar goal for off-road vehicles and equipment by 2035. The law also establishes a goal for all medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold or leased in the state to be zero-emission vehicles by 2045, “for all operations where feasible.”

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The signed legislation is more akin to a policy statement or executive order, in that it directs a state agency—namely the Department of Environmental Conservation—to propose regulations that will require increased volumes of zero-emission vehicles to be offered for sale with the goal of achieving a 100 percent mark by 2035. The law effectively compels state agencies to phase out sales of gas- and diesel-engined vehicles and trucks by a certain date through agency rules, which itself have yet to be adopted.

The law as drafted lacks enforcement mechanisms and concrete steps that agencies will need to take in order to phase in sales of zero-emission vehicles. In effect, there are no corresponding state agency rules that have been enacted to promote sales of zero-emission vehicles to such a significant extent, or (perhaps more importantly) actively inhibit sales of internal-combustion vehicles at a dealer level. Further legislation and agency rules, complete with enforcement mechanisms, will be needed.

The law also requires that a zero-emission vehicle strategy be developed by 2023, which will then be used by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to create programs and policies to actually promote EV sales.

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