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New York moves to ban gas-powered cars by 2035; California leading the charge




New York is taking a page out of California’s book by using state regulators to institute its own ban on gas-powered cars by 2035.

Gov. Kathy Hochul directed the N.Y. 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,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

There are some benchmarks the regulation is shooting for along the way: It would require zero-emissions vehicles to be 35% of all vehicles sold by 2026, and then the required number of zero-emissions vehicles sold would jump up to 68% by 2030.

The overall goal is to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions 85% from 1990 levels by 2050, which is required by law after New York passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in 2019. Reducing greenhouse gasses will also help curb the “disproportionate risks and health and pollution burdens” affecting low-income minority communities that live near high traffic areas, according to last week’s press release.

The governor’s office credited California’s passage of its regulations related to zero emissions vehicles for opening the door for the Empire State to do the same. New York’s proposed regulations have yet to be written.

Locals spoke with WKTV, the local NBC affiliate for Utica, recently to share their feelings about the upcoming ban.

“I can pull up to the gas station, throw ten dollars into the tank and drive on down the road,” a truck driver from Cold Brook told the station. “Those cars over there (electric vehicles) have to sit there an hour waiting to charge.”

But an electric vehicle owner is confident that as advances come to the nation’s electric grid, the charging will get smarter.

“One of the things that the national grid does is that I can get a meter that would basically give me a look at peak and off-peak charging hours,” the owner told WKTV.

Sticker prices for electric vehicles are also well above their gas counterparts.

According to a Kelley Blue Book report from last month, electric vehicles’ average price of more than $66,000 puts them more in the luxury category of car purchases when compared to the average price of a new car of $48,300.

New York currently has just over 8,100 public charging stations for electric vehicles, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

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