The US state of New York is following California’s example and ensuring that only zero-emission passenger cars and light commercial vehicles may be sold from 2035. By 2045, all new medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles in the US state are also to be electric.
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The corresponding law has passed the US Senate as part of a more comprehensive environmental protection bill and now only needs to be signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The key points of the bill were announced in October 2020. At that time, there was already talk of a ban on internal combustion vehicles for passenger cars from 2035 and for commercial vehicles from 2045.
The initiator of the bill is Democratic Senator Peter Harckham. “To reach the goal of 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, we need to aggressively pursue benchmarks that will reduce emissions from our personal vehicles,” Harckham said back in October in support of his proposal. “Personal transportation accounts for roughly 20% of American’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
The first push in this direction was made by California Governor Gavin Newsom in September 2020. He issued a decree according to which only zero-emission passenger cars may be sold from 2035 and only zero-emission commercial vehicles from 2045. Even more ambitious is the US state of Washington, where a law was passed a few days ago, according to which all cars and light commercial vehicles sold there must be purely electric by 2030, a full five years earlier than in California and New York. Other US states, such as Massachusetts, are already toying with a ban on internal combustion engines. This emerged at the beginning of the year from a climate plan published by Governor Charlie Baker.
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In addition to the New York combustion sales ban, Governor Andrew Cuomo has a parallel bill passed by the Senate for signature that deals with a procurement plan for the state’s passenger car fleets. According to this plan, only electric or hybrid cars may be put into service from 2023. By 2031, the state passenger car fleets in New York State are to be completely converted to fully electric cars.
The explanatory memorandum states that the state’s purchasing power should be used to increase the number of low- and zero-emission vehicles and thus reduce overall emissions in the transport sector. In addition, “Additionally, the purchase of these vehicles will spur the
construction of the necessary infrastructure to power these vehicles benefitting both the state and citizens seeking to purchase electric vehicles but hesitant to do so because of range anxiety”.
“Climate change is real and must be addressed to protect future generations,” expresses Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the leader of the Senate Majority in New York. “This package continues the Senate Majority’s ongoing commitment to New York State being a national and world leader in the fight against climate change. These bills will help protect our natural resources, reduce our environmental footprint, and promote renewable energy.”
Since the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, ambitious plans for the electrification of the transport sector have also been presented at the federal level. For example, incentive systems for buyers and manufacturers, the development of charging networks and the conversion of the federal vehicle fleet. Only last week, the Biden administration confirmed its intention to invest 15 billion dollars in the construction of a national network with 500,000 charging stations for electric vehicles.
Update 09 September 2021
In the US state of New York, only zero-emission passenger cars and light commercial vehicles may be sold from 2035. A corresponding law passed by the state senate in April has now been signed by New York’s new governor Kathy Hochul.
As mentioned, the law (A.4302/S.2758) refers to passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Hochul, according to a statement from her office, also directed the Department of Environmental Conservation to develop a regulation to reduce air pollution from trucks.
“The new law and regulation represent a critical milestone in our efforts and will further advance the transition to clean electric vehicles while helping to reduce emissions in communities that have been overwhelmed by pollution from cars and trucks for decades,” says Kathy Hochul.
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