It's now official. Kind of.
It all began with California and now it's spread to the state of New York. The Empire State has just passed a new law that aims for 100 percent zero emissions for new passenger cars and trucks sold to residents by 2035. The legislation signed by newly inaugurated Governor Kathy Hochul has the same objective for off-road vehicles and related equipment by that year. By 2045, the law sets a goal for all medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold or leased in the state to be zero-emissions as well, or "where feasible."
In a prepared statement, Governor Hochul said that "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."
"The new law and regulation mark a critical milestone in our efforts and will further advance the transition to clean electric vehicles." Now, it's important to understand that this new legislation is more similar to an executive order because it essentially directs the state's Department of Environmental Conservation to come up with specific zero-emissions regulations by 2035. State agencies are basically being ordered to prepare to phase out internal combustion-engined vehicles.
A specific set of guidelines has yet to be prepared. What's also interesting is that the current legislation lacks any enforcement methods, and nor does it outright ban dealerships from selling combustion-engined vehicles.
Basically, additional legislation will be required. This is merely the start of a longer process and there are bound to be additional political and legal hurdles to overcome. New York lawmakers say they used "California's Advanced Clean Trucks Rule as a template" to require truck manufacturers to transition to zero-emissions vehicles.
Currently, pure battery-electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3, Volkswagen ID.4, and Porsche Taycan only make up around 1 percent of all new vehicles sales in New York. In other words, the state has a long way to go in not only preparing the final legislation and setting specific laws but also convincing residents to make the big change.