What just happened? New York is stepping up efforts to transition to zero-emission vehicles. Building on similar legislation signed last year, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has directed the State Department of Environmental Conservation to take regulatory action that will require all new passenger cars, pickup trucks and SUVs sold in the state to be zero emissions by 2035.

Just last month, California announced it would be banning the sale of all new gasoline-powered vehicles in 2035. Finalizing that regulation actually paved the way for New York to do the same as federal regulations required the Golden State be first to do so.

New York is taking a staggered approach to help reach its goal. The state will require that 35 percent of all new light-duty vehicle sales be zero-emission vehicles by model year 2026. The requirement will increase to 68 percent by 2030 before crossing the finish line in 2035.

Furthermore, all new school buses must be zero emissions by 2027 and the entire fleet must follow suit by 2035.

The state will also implement new pollutant standards for model year 2026 through model year 2034 passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty vehicles with gas-burning engine.

New York is also providing an incentive to buy zero-emission vehicles. The Drive Clean rebate program provides up to $2,000 off the price of a vehicle and can be combined with the $7,500 federal tax rebate for a total of up to $9,500 in savings. To date, the Drive Clean rebate program has paid out more than $92 million to residents in all 62 counties in the state of New York.

Regulating the sale of gas vehicles is only part of the equation as the state will need to have the proper charging infrastructure in place to support an all-electric future. Last week, the New York Power Authority installed its 100th high-speed charger as part of its EVolve NY statewide network. While a step in the right direction, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done infrastructure-wise.

Image credit: Andrew Roberts