The future is electric: NYC to transition to all-electric cars by 2035


@govkathyhochul on IG

Mandi Karpo, Editor-in-Chief

New York is taking the next transitional step from fossil-fueled vehicles to electric ran vehicles, requiring the future sale of all cars, pickup trucks and SUVs to be zero-emission by 2035, NYS Gov. Kathy Hochul announced in commemoration of National Drive Electric Week on Sept. 29. Permissible sales will include either fully electric or plug-in hybrid cars, similarly to California’s latest approval of the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) proposal, with the same goal as NY by 2035.

With a population of 8.38 million residents as of 2020, NYC makes up nearly 43 percent of the State’s population, requiring its own clean energy initiative led by the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). So far, more than 4,050 vehicles in the city’s fleet have been transitioned from fossil-fuel-powered engines to electrical ones, beating the DCAS’ 2025 goal three years ahead of itself. The DOT has already installed two charging hubs, one at the Court Square Municipal Garage in Queens, and the Delancy-Essex Municipal Garage in Manhattan.

Henry Gutman, the former Commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation issued a letter to NYC residents stating that nearly 1,000 residents die yearly due to poor air quality, while the NYC Chief Climate Officer and NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, Rohit T. Aggarwala, said that the transportation section of NYC is “30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions” in the city, second to buildings.

In vast efforts to reduce the carbon footprint left behind by the State’s current transportation infrastructure, the State is investing $250 million towards 800 fast-charging stations in a program called the EVolve NY Fast Charging Network, spearheaded by the NY Power Authority. 100 charging stations have already been installed, while the remaining 700 are planned to be implemented through 2025.

Charging hubs are planned to be placed along major state highways—five minutes off roadway exits—in the State’s six largest cities, including New York City, specifically in the Bronx and Brooklyn, Yonkers, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo, according to New York States website.

“Reducing emissions from the transportation sector requires both shifting more trips to sustainable modes, like public transportation, walking, cycling and transitioning automobile trips to electric vehicles. I applaud our colleagues at DCAS, DOT, and TLC for implementing these bold steps to fight climate change by pursuing the transition to electric vehicles,” Aggarawala states in a press conference.

NYS and NYC’s transition to an electric transportation infrastructure comes just months after The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Aug. 16, 2022. This includes a $370 billion investment into clean energy and is considered the most pivotally unprecedented and ambitious legislation that Congress has ever passed. The bill is projected to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The legislation includes, but is not limited to, an investment of more than $135 billion for clean energy tax credits towards solar and wind power, saving households $500 per year in energy costs; tax credits for light-duty Electric Vehicles (EV), used EVs, commercial EVs and EV charging equipment, among others; and $60 billion investment in environmental justice to assist communities who have been at the forefront of environmental pollution.