ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A decision by regulators in California has cleared the way for New York to move forward on its goal of requiring all new cars and trucks sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2035, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday.
State regulations being crafted by the end of the year would require 35% of new vehicle sales to be zero-emission vehicles in 2026, 68% by 2030, and 100% by 2035.
“We’re really putting our foot down the accelerator, and revving up our efforts to make sure we have this transition,” Hochul, a Democrat, said at a news conference. “We had to wait for California to take a step because there’s some federal requirements. ... But once they made that decision, we were able to step up immediately and say, ‘Now there’s nothing holding us back.’”
Under the Clean Air Act, states can either abide by the U.S. government’s vehicle emissions standards or choose to follow California’s stricter requirements. New York is one of 17 states that either partially or fully follow California's standards. California regulators decided last month to require all new vehicles sold in that state to be powered by electricity or hydrogen by 2035.
New York lawmakers passed a law last year that set a goal of making all passenger cars and trucks emissions-free by 2035, but it couldn't put that plan into motion until California acted.
Under the proposed rules, people wouldn't have to give up gas-powered vehicles and could continue to buy and sell them secondhand.
Making electric vehicles a reality will require major public and private investments in a vast system of charging stations. New York has received $175 million in federal funding in order to expand charging station access.
Maysoon Khan is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Maysoon Khan on Twitter.