Following California’s lead, the State of New York announced on Thursday that it will ban all fossil fuel cars in a bid to cut transportation-related emissions and increase EV adoption.

Only one month after California voted to ban all gas-powered vehicle sales, New York followed suit. Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state will require all new vehicles sold by 2035 to be emission-free.

The announcement also comes a little over a year after Hochul signed the measure to ban all fossil fuel cars into law, signalling the beginning of a regulatory process aimed at enacting the historic legislation.

“New York is implementing the nation’s most aggressive plan to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions affecting our climate and to reach our ambitious goals, we must reduce emissions from the transportation sector, currently the largest source of the state’s climate pollution,” said Hochul last year as she signed the law. 

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The transportation sector accounts for the greatest share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state. In 2018, this was equal to approximately 47% of all GHG emissions, or 175.9 million metric tons of CO2. Nevertheless, New York’s transportation emissions per capita are about 27% below the national average, the second lowest of any other US state. Despite ranking quite favourably at the national level, in 2020, New York and California together account for 18% of the 103.8 million registered passenger vehicles in the US. 

Fossil Fuel Cars

Source: Citizens Budget Commission

Exactly like California, NY aims to reach its 35% zero-emission vehicles target by 2026 and only implement a full ban on fossil fuel cars by 2035.

The state will invest over US$1 billion in zero-emission vehicles, including about $10 million to expand its rebate programme, which offers a discount of up to $2,000 for the purchase of an EV. It will also receive $175 million in federal funding over the next five years to be allocated to the expansion of New York’s charging network, Bloomberg reports.

“With sustained state and federal investments, our actions are incentivising New Yorkers, local governments, and businesses to make the transition to electric vehicles,” Hochul added. “We are 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.”

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