Climate Policy

New York law phases out most gas-powered vehicles by 2035

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Key Points
  • New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation on Wednesday that resembles California’s, and would effectively ban sales of new, internal combustion engine cars and trucks in the Empire state by 2035.
  • The governor also asked her administration to roll out a new proposal for reducing air pollution from medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
  • The New York legislation follows an earlier effort in California where Governor Newsom signed an executive order to ban sales of new, internal combustion engine light-duty vehicles in the state by 2035.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks at an event to announce her choice of Democratic New York State Senator Brian Benjamin to be Lieutenant Governor, in the Harlem section of Manhattan in New York, August 26, 2021.
Mike Segar | Reuters

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation on Wednesday that effectively bans the sale of new internal combustion engine cars, off-road vehicles, light-duty trucks and equipment by 2035.

The legislation, introduced by New York state senator Pete Harckham, also requires new heavy- and medium-duty trucks for sale in New York to be in the "zero-emissions" category by 2045.

According to the website of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, the state defines zero-emission vehicles as: battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, or hydrogen fuel-cell-electric vehicles.

The new law could be a shot in the arm for automakers selling or planning electric vehicles, including Tesla, start-ups like Lucid Motors and Rivian, and incumbents like Volkswagen and GM that have shifted their focus to battery-powered electrics to meet consumer demand and comply with stricter environmental regulations.

In a blog post announcing the new law on Wednesday, the governor's office said the moves support New York's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050.

According to data from the National Automobile Dealership Association, New York state accounted for about 6% of light-duty vehicle sales in the U.S. last year, and $60 billion of dealership revenue.

New York is following California's earlier efforts to shift drivers into zero-emission vehicles. As CNBC previously reported, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order in September 2020 that would phase out all sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles in the state by 2035.