New York Becomes Latest State To Ban Sale Of New Gas Cars By 2035
Photographer: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York announced Thursday that it will become the next state to ban the sale of new gas cars by 2035.

At a press conference in the Chester Maple Municipal Garage in White Plains, New York, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she would be directing the State Department of Environmental Conservation to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. Under new state regulations yet to be announced, all new passenger vehicles would be required to be zero-emissions. New York is the latest state to adopt the policy after California announced it would ban new gas car sales by 2035 in August.

“In New York, every week is climate week,” Hochul said after pulling up to the podium in an electric Chevrolet Bolt. “And we’re committed to protecting our environment and combating climate change every single day … electric vehicles are the key to achieving this.”

In a separate statement on the governor’s website, Hochul outlined the details of the new regulatory scheme: under the new rules, by model year 2026, electric vehicles must make up 35% of all new vehicles sales; by 2030, 68% of all new vehicle sales must be electric. The scheme would also establish new emissions standards for cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty vehicles from model years 2026 through 2034. In addition, Hochul said in her press conference that by 2027, all new school buses must be zero emissions; the whole fleet must zero-emissions, statewide, by 2035.

Hochul also announced a series of new financial incentives for residents to buy an electric vehicle, and federal and state investments to build fast charging stations and other infrastructure. The Department of Environmental Conservation made available some $5.75 million in grants to help local governments purchase electric cars for their municipal fleet, and to build local fast charging stations.

The state also put up $10 million to its “Drive Clean Rebate” initiative, which offers residents an extra $2,000 state tax rebate, on top of the $7,500 federal tax rebate for new electric vehicles under the Inflation Reduction Act. The state also received $175 million in federal investments form the bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021 to build a network of EV charging stations, on top a $250 million commitment from the state.

“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,” Hochul said.

Hochul specifically cited California’s move to ban gas-powered car sales as the impetus behind her state’s decision. “We had to wait for California to take a step because there’s some federal requirement that California had to go first … but once they made that decision we were able to step up immediately and say ‘now there’s nothing holding us back.’”

“We are not heading down that dead-end street [of gas vehicles] any longer,” she added.

New York’s plan mirrors the California plan, which Governor Gavin Newsom proposed in April and the California Air Resources Board approved in August. The ban was one of the first of its kind in the world. “The climate crisis is solvable if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to stem the tide of carbon pollution,” Newsom said in a statement last month.

A day after California unveiled its ban, Washington and Massachusetts followed suit. The plan was also adopted by a state law in Virginia in 2021.

Hochul’s financial incentives may not be enough to offset the cost of electric cars, which average more than $66,000, according to Kelley Blue Book. Most electric vehicles don’t qualify for the federal tax credit because they do not meet the requirements for parts made in America, and Ford and GM raised the prices of new electric vehicles by roughly the same amount.

According to a June ranking from Motortrend, the top 11 cheapest gas-powered cars all come in under $22,000 — including vehicles from Toyota, Kia, and Hyundai. In contrast, a July Car and Driver survey found that the cheapest electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf, sells for $28,495. Additionally, according to Bankrate, insurance premiums are sometimes higher for electric vehicles as well.

“Typically, you will pay more to insure an electric vehicle than a conventional automobile,” Bankrate notes. “This is primarily due to the higher electric vehicle purchase price and the fact that electric vehicles generally have higher repair costs, especially those with expensive technology features.”

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