First, New York passes law banning the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles after 2034
New York will ban the sale of fossil fuel vehicles from 2035 and require all new cars to be zero emissions. The new law, signed by Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul last week, will help reduce the state’s carbon pollution by 35%. This would put New York on the right track to meet its statewide carbon reduction targets 85% below 1990 levels.
While the expiration date is in line with other state government plans, meeting the goal will still require significant planning and coordination. While EVs aren’t uncommon in New York City, the state is actually starting from scratch – around 1 percent of new vehicles sold in the Empire State are fully electric.
The new law does not stop at passenger vehicles. It also requires zero emissions for off-road vehicles and equipment by 2035 and for medium and heavy vehicles by 2045. There is some leeway with these mandates whether batteries or fuel cells for large trucks or construction equipment is seriously behind schedule. The law states that zero emissions will only be required “to the extent possible”.
With 14 years before the start of the term, there is a lot of time to sort out the problems. Yet the state legislature did not want to leave things to chance. The law requires various government agencies to coordinate to produce a market development strategy by the end of next year. The strategy will also need to consider how to support the market for new and used electric vehicles, which should help address some concerns about affordability.
New York will most likely have the new vehicle market on its side. BloombergNEF predicts that battery-electric vehicles will reach price parity with fossil-fueled vehicles in 2022 for passenger cars and 2024 for trucks and SUVs. (Fuel cell vehicles would also qualify, but so far these sales represent a rounding error.)
Convincing the public to buy electric vehicles, of course, requires more than just incentives. For many people, billing remains a barrier in a physical or psychological sense (or both). The state will need to deploy a large fast-charging network to facilitate long-distance travel, and it will need to encourage cities to install slower level 2 charging infrastructure to allow tenants and residents of condominiums to recharge. Such a network would include the usual places, such as grocery stores and shopping centers, but also streets and parking lots.
Curbside charging would be particularly important in New York City, where street parking is the rule rather than the exception. By 2050, the city predicted it will need 800,000 level 2 chargers and 60,000 fast chargers. And given that the Big Apple is home to over 40% of the state’s population, solving this problem is likely high on state agency lists.
New York City has already started to experiment with curbside charging, the installation of 120 chargers that electric vehicle owners can pay to use them by the hour. The initial facilities were established based on projected demand, community contribution and geographic diversity. Business owners can also request that a charger be installed in front of their building. Parking spaces in front of the EV service equipment are reserved for actively charging vehicles. Cars that do not charge can be fined.
Another solution would be to superimpose the EV chargers on the public lighting poles. Los Angeles has already installed more than 430 two scattered throughout the city, and London converted more than 1,300 street lights to add EV charging. Kansas City is also testing the setup, with plans for install 30-60 by the end of the year.
Second term statewide
New York is the latest state to announce an expiration date for sales of new fossil fuel vehicles. Last September, California Governor Gavin Newsom (also a Democrat) issued an executive order directing the California Air Resources Board, better known as CARB, to develop regulations to impose zero emissions on all new passenger cars. and trucks by 2035. The decree has been published. under California’s sole authority under the Clean Air Act, which gives the Golden State the power to make laws and regulations stricter than the federal code. Massachusetts joined California last year in announce a phase-out date of 2035.
Washington State attempted to pass a law earlier this year with an expiration date of 2030. The law was passed by the legislature but was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who was concerned the expiration date was tied to the implementation of a road user charge. The mandate of zero-emission vehicles, he said, was too important to be linked to other initiatives.
New York law makes it the first to be passed by a state legislature and signed by the governor. By going through the traditional legislative process, it can establish a model that other states can follow.