New cars sold in New York state must be zero-emissions by 2035

The decision comes about a month after a similar mandate was announced by California.
Traffic in lower Manhattan. Deposit Photos

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced yesterday that all new vehicles purchased in the state must be zero-emission models beginning in 2035. To reach this goal, the governor said that 35 percent of new cars will need to be zero-emissions by the year 2026 and 68 percent by 2030. Additionally, all new school buses purchased will have to be zero-emissions by 2027, with the entire fleet meeting these standards by 2035.

“We’re really putting our foot down on the accelerator and revving up our efforts to make sure we have this transition—not someday in the future, but on a specific date, a specific year—by the year 2035,” said Hochul in yesterday’s press conference.

New York is the fourth most populous state in the United States and the second state to mandate zero-emissions vehicles by the year 2035 after California.

[Related: California poised to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars.]

Last month, The California Air Resources Board voted to ban the sale of gas-powered cars beginning in 13 years. Due to federal regulations, any state-led move to enforce stricter emissions rules must occur first in California. California was authorized with the ability to set its own emissions standards in 1970, when Congress passed the Clean Air Act. This ability to set emissions standards was granted to the populous western state due to smog conditions at the time.

However, the Clean Air Act does have a a provision that prevents states from setting their own emissions. So to use its emission setting power, California must first apply for a waiver with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Once that step is complete, other states can follow.

New York’s State Department of Environmental Conservation has been tasked with implementing the necessary regulations to require that all new passenger cars, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles (SUV) sold in New York State will be be zero-emissions by 2035. These regulations were passed last year.

[Related: Everything you need to know about EV tax credits and the Inflation Reduction Act.]

The governor also announced a $10 million investment in the state’s Drive Clean Rebate program. She said the program could “help New Yorkers purchase and drive these vehicles.” She explained that an up-to-$2,000 rebate is available in all of New York’s 62 counties.

The New York Power Authority also recently completed the installation of its 100th high-speed EV charger. The installation was part of New York’s EVolve NY statewide charging network. According to Governor Hochul, New York State will receive $175 million from The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $5 billion allocation for EV charging networks.

“So that’s going to help over 14 interstates in New York, especially ones used by the people in this community,” Hochul said. “So you’re going to see that you have no more excuses.”