Gov. Kathy Hochul has directed the State Department of Environmental Conservation to take major regulatory action that will require all new passenger cars, pickup trucks and SUVs sold in New York state to be zero emissions by 2035.
“New York is a national climate leader and an economic powerhouse, and we’re using our strength to help spur innovation and implementation of zero-emission vehicles on a grand scale,” Hochul said. “With sustained state and federal investments, our actions are incentivizing New Yorkers, local governments, and businesses to make the transition to electric vehicles. We’re driving New York’s transition to clean transportation forward, and today’s announcement will benefit our climate and the health of our communities for generations to come.”
Proposing draft state regulations is a step to further electrify the transportation sector and help New York achieve its climate requirement of reducing greenhouse gases 85% by 2050, while also reducing air pollution, particularly in disadvantaged communities. The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is expediting this regulatory process to implement legislation Hochul signed last year and turn those goals into progress in fully transitioning to new zero-emission cars and trucks. California’s action finalizing the Advanced Clean Cars II regulation last month unlocked New York’s ability to adopt the same regulation.
The regulation will build upon existing regulations enacted in New York in 2012 by requiring all new sales of passenger cars, pickup trucks and SUVs to be zero-emission by 2035. It would require an increasing percentage of new light-duty vehicle sales to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) starting with 35% of sales in model year 2026, 68% of sales by 2030, and 100% of sales by 2035. New pollutant standards for model year 2026 through model year 2034 passenger cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty vehicles with internal combustion engines would also be required. The regulation provides manufacturers with flexibility in meeting the emission requirements and achieving a successful transition to cleaner vehicles.
Adoption of Clean Cars II is included among the recommendations in the Climate Action Council’s Draft Scoping Plan and will be instrumental in achieving the greenhouse gas emissions reductions required in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. In addition, reducing emissions will provide significant air quality benefits to many of New York’s disadvantaged communities, predominantly home to low-income Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and often adjacent to transit routes with heavy vehicle traffic. The regulation will help address disproportionate risks and health and pollution burdens affecting these communities.
“Governor Hochul is demonstrating her sustained commitment to the successful implementation of the Climate Act and ensuring all New Yorkers benefit from the state’s actions to address climate change,” says Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos. “DEC will continue to work under her direction to rapidly issue this regulation and reach another milestone in the transition from fossil fuels so that more people, businesses and governments will have the ZEV options to meet their needs and help improve the health of their communities.”
The directed regulatory action announced builds on New York’s ongoing efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, including the adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks regulation in December 2021. That regulation will drive an increase in the number of medium- and heavy-duty ZEV models available as purchase options for vehicle purchasers and fleets. In addition, several transit agencies including the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, and the Metropolitan Transit Authority are leading by example with second wave deployments of electric buses. DEC, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York Power Authority (NYPA), and Department of Transportation (DOT) are assisting these authorities with these efforts.
Both the Advanced Clean Trucks and Advanced Clean Cars II rules would provide the needed regulatory certainty to support a stable market for long-term vehicle purchasing decisions and the development of ZEV charging infrastructure.
New York is investing more than $1 billion in zero emissions vehicles of all weight classes over the next five years. Active light-duty vehicle initiatives include zero-emission vehicle purchase rebates through NYSERDA’s Drive Clean Rebate Program, zero-emission vehicle and charging infrastructure grants through DEC’s Climate Smart Communities Municipal Grant Program, as well as the “EV Make Ready” initiative, NYPA’s EVolve NY charging infrastructure program, and DOT’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) charging infrastructure program to help expand electric vehicle use.
New York State is making $5.75 million available to help municipalities purchase or lease zero-emission vehicles for fleet use and to install public electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling stations. DEC is accepting applications now through Sept. 30, 2022. Administered by DEC’s Climate Smart Communities Program, these zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) grants are part of New York’s commitment to supporting municipal efforts to prevent further climate change. The total funds made available for the 2022 round are the largest allocation in the program’s history. In addition, for the first time, 40 percent of the funds will be prioritized for projects in disadvantaged communities, as identified by the Climate Justice Working Group’s draft criteria. Applications for DEC’s ZEV rebates and ZEV infrastructure grants are available through the New York State Grants Gateway. Additional information about these grants is available at https://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/109181.html#ZEV.
Additionally, $10 million has been added to the Drive Clean Rebate program, administered by NYSERDA, to help consumers purchase or lease an electric vehicle to put more clean vehicles on the road by 2035. This point-of-sale rebate takes up to $2,000 off the price of a vehicle and can be coupled with a federal tax rebate of $7,500 to provide consumers with up to $9,500 in savings. The rebate is offered at participating car dealerships with higher rebates available on longer range, all-electric vehicles. Since launching in 2017, the Drive Clean Rebate provided more than $92 million in rebates to New Yorkers in all 62 counties of the State and has helped further drive down emissions.
“The Drive Clean Rebate makes ownership of an electric vehicle a reality for many New Yorkers, reducing their out-of-pocket cost at the dealership and helping achieve their dream of driving clean,” comments Doreen M. Harris, NYSERDA’s president and CEO, and Climate Action Council co-chair. “As we bring more renewable energy to our electric grid and build out EV charging infrastructure, we continue to invest in market supports that bring us closer each day to zero-emission passenger vehicles by 2035.”
Last week, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) celebrated the milestone of its 100th high-speed charger installation in its EVolve NY statewide network. The charging stations are positioned in key locations along New York State’s major travel corridors, from Buffalo to Albany and from the Adirondacks to Long Island, making it significantly easier for New Yorkers to drive electric vehicles and power up and get back on the road quickly. Any battery-powered EV can charge up at an EVolve NY site in as little as 20 minutes.
The latest direct current fast chargers (DC FC), installed in downtown Riverhead and Commack in Suffolk County, mark the network’s first hubs on Long Island. An additional EVolve NY site is coming online in Bridgehampton in October. The EVolve NY fast charging network was created to fill in gaps where fast charging is not available and spur public/private partnership to further expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure. EVolve NY has committed up to $250 million through 2025 to expand these efforts and help decarbonize the state’s transportation sector so that more New Yorkers can “Charge Faster. Go Further. Drive Cleaner.” Visit here for more information about EVolve NY and a site map noting current EVolve NY fast chargers across the State.
“With the transportation sector responsible for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the nation, we cannot afford to wait to implement bold actions like Governor Hochul’s directive for all new cars and trucks to be zero emissions by 2035,” adds New York Power Authority’s interim president and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “NYPA’s EVolve NY fast charging network is working diligently, with public and private partners, to ensure that we have an expansive charging infrastructure to support zero emission vehicles and make driving EVs the easier choice for more New Yorkers.”
Read more about the initiative here.