For Immediate Release: April 26, 2021
Bill Requires all New Vehicles Sold in NYS to be Electric by 2035
Albany – Today, S.2758/A.4302, sponsored by Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright and Senator Pete Harckham, passed the New York State Senate. The bill had passed the Assembly last week and now heads to the Governor for his signature. The legislation directs the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation to establish regulations to ensure that 100% of new passenger vehicles are electric by 2035 and that medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are electric by 2045. By doing so, the bill ensures a smooth and orderly process to fully electrify all vehicles in New York.
With more than 11 million vehicles registered in the state, the transportation sector is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, with much of that air pollution disproportionally affecting low-income communities and communities of color. As air pollution leads to higher cases of lung and cardiovascular disease, Black and brown communities have been hit hard by COVID-19, which is exacerbated by pre-existing conditions. This legislation will help New York achieve its climate goals that were adopted into law in 2019.
Rachel Patterson, legislative and climate associate for Environmental Advocates NY said, “Electrification is the future. We have a real opportunity to reverse course and electrify the transportation sector, which opens the door to removing dirty tailpipes from our roads. Changing how we think about traveling from point A to point B is a necessary step in combatting the current climate crisis, and a highly effective method of cleaning up the air we breathe and creating a green economy. We applaud sponsors Englebright and Harckham, as well as legislative leadership, and look now to Governor Cuomo to sign this bill into law.”
Lisa Tyson, Director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition said, “We were instrumental in passing the nation’s most ambitious climate legislation two years ago, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Now the work begins to implement this bill and transition all sectors of our economy off fossil fuels. Our work in transportation begins today with the passage of the EV by 2035 bill, which will reduce emissions from the transportation sector by encouraging the public to act early in the adoption of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. Long Island is a statewide leader in renewable energy and that will only continue as we make plans to convert to all electric vehicles.”
“Electrifying our transportation system and reducing the sector’s impact on the climate and our communities is imperative. Low-income communities and communities of color have been overburdened by air pollution for much too long. The passage of this EV bill will contribute to our efforts to improve the public health outcomes in environmental justice communities and help us reach our most ambitious climate goals,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance.
“The commitment to electric vehicle sales by 2035 operationalizes our climate goals in a meaningful way for New York,” said Lauren Bailey, Director of Climate Policy, Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “This forward-looking policy lets manufacturers, drivers, and cities plan for an electric transportation system which will help New York stop contributing to climate change and, more urgently, lessen harm to communities currently breathing toxic emissions from cars and trucks.”
Jenny Veloz, community organizer for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest said, “This bill ensures New York State’s commitment to electrifying its transportation fleet which will especially ease the burdens of air pollution emissions in environmental justice communities. As we continue to fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change, codifying the electrification of the transportation fleet is a great step in creating cleaner, more efficient vehicles.”
Liz Moran, Environmental Policy Director for NYPIRG, said, “This legislation sets New York up to move off antiquated fossil fuel-based transportation and to the way of the future: electric vehicles. For New York to meet its critical climate goals and reduce the air pollution causing asthma and other illnesses in so many communities, eliminating climate pollution from the transportation sector is essential. NYPIRG applauds Senator Harckham, Assemblymember Englebright, and legislative leadership for passing this legislation. Governor Cuomo should now sign this into law immediately.”
Liam Smith, Co-Director of Government Affairs for NY2CL, said “My generation and future generations are counting on the state government to implement comprehensive climate policy to protect us from the climate emergency. While the CLCPA established an ambitious framework for addressing climate change, it left a lot of details up in the air. S2758/A4302 establishes electrification requirements for the transportation industry that will make the goals of the CLCPA a reality. The New York Youth Climate Leaders praises the legislature for the passage of this bill and hopes the Governor will approve it shortly. ”
“Tackling the climate crisis and addressing public health issues go hand-in-hand. With passage of this bill, New York is actively moving towards a zero-emissions transportation sector that will improve our air quality and reduce health issues such as high asthma rates and cardiac issues from toxic air pollution,” said Rachel Spector, Staff Attorney at Earthjustice. “We are encouraged that the Legislature is committing New York to electric vehicles and is working towards a clean air future for the state.”
“This legislation will prioritize the purchase of electric vehicles and fuel the market to make EVs more accessible to New Yorkers,” said Michaela Ciovacco of New Yorkers for Clean Power. “We applaud Assemblymember Englebright and Senator Harckham’s legislative leadership as it is critical to transitioning to a clean energy economy. The Governor has been a clean energy champion and we urge him to continue his legacy of bold action on climate by codifying the EV by 2035 bill (S.2758/A.4302).”
“The Nature Conservancy is thrilled to see the State Legislature take further action to reduce pollution from the transportation sector. The transition to electric vehicles will enable people to breathe cleaner air and improve community health and safety by combating climate change. We thank Senator Pete Harckham and Assemblymember Steven Englebright for their leadership,” said Echo Cartwright, The Nature Conservancy’s New York Climate Mitigation Director.