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New York Bans Sale of Gasoline-Powered Cars Starting in 2035 (1)

Sept. 8, 2021, 7:41 PMUpdated: Sept. 8, 2021, 8:09 PM

The sale of new gas-powered cars and trucks will be banned in New York State in 14 years, under legislation signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday.

The measure (S.2758/A.4302) sets into law a state goal to have all New York sales or leasing of new passenger cars and trucks—as well as off-road vehicles and equipment—be zero-emissions by 2035. All new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold will have until 2045 to meet the goal, according to the bill.

“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 said in a news release.

New York joins California, which last year became the first state to set an expiration date of 2035 for the traditional automobile. Massachusetts is aiming for a similar goal.

Several vehicle manufacturers, including General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG, have said they will begin manufacturing zero-emission vehicles exclusively.

State agencies, in consultation with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, are required to create a zero-emissions vehicle market development strategy by Jan. 31, 2023. The state will be required to identify near-term actions and investment strategies to improve sustainable transportation and freight and transit options.

The measure is expected to help New York State as it looks to lower carbon emissions and combat climate change. Under legislation passed in 2019, the state plans to get all its electricity from emission-free sources by 2040 and achieve an 85% reduction from 1990 levels in economy-wide emissions by 2050.

Trucks Targeted

Hochul on Wednesday also directed the state Department of Environmental Conservation to release a proposed regulation that would reduce air pollution from trucks.

The regulation, modeled after California’s clean truck rules, would require truck manufacturers to transition to clean, electric zero-emission vehicles. A certain percentage of sales would have to be zero-emissions, dependent on the vehicle weight class, starting with the 2025 model year.

The proposed regulation allows several compliance options and would require a one-time reporting from applicable truck fleets.

“The best way to ramp up our fight against the climate crisis is to transition to new vehicles that are entirely free of carbon and other toxic emissions,” bill sponsor state Sen. Pete Harckham (D) said in a news release on Wednesday. “The devastation from Tropical Storm Ida proves, once again, that half-measures in dealing with climate change are of little benefit to us. We need to take decisive action right now.”

(Updates story with details on proposed regulation starting in eighth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Keshia Clukey in Albany, N.Y. at kclukey@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com; Rebecca Baker at rbaker@bloombergindustry.com

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