An Electrifying Week for New York

| September 30, 2022

Did you hear that? We didn’t think so. It was the hushed sound of hundreds of electric cars, buses, boats, and even lawn equipment out in full force across New York for National Drive Electric Week, a yearly campaign to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. 

In Drive Electric Week events in Buffalo, Schenectady, and Bedford, the NYLCV was on hand educating the public about electric vehicle incentives and green energy resources, meeting with elected officials, and talking about the progress that has been made and the work left to be done in order to electrify New York’s transportation sector. There were test drives, charging stations, e-scooters, e-bikes, e-backhoes and other electric transportation in action. There were games, prizes, music, and an energy that suggested the EV movement is here to stay.

“It is no longer a question of if we make the transition to electric vehicles, but when,” said NYLCV President Julie Tighe addressing a crowd in Buffalo. New York has made big investments in charging infrastructure–there are now around 2000 public charging stations in New York State, with many more on the way. Then there are the EVolve NY fast-charging stations, where any electric vehicle can charge up in as little as 20 minutes.” 

The NYLCV also took the opportunity to highlight the inroads the state legislature made in the 2022 legislative session, including the requirement that all new school bus purchases must be zero-emission starting in 2027 and all school buses statewide must be 100% zero-emission by 2035.

Then on Thursday, like a bolt of lightning, game-changing news struck when Governor Kathy Hochul announced she would be directing the State Department of Environmental Conservation to take major regulatory action that will require all new passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs sold in New York State to be zero emissions by 2035. This is a crucial regulatory step to achieving significant greenhouse gas emission reductions from the transportation sector and is complemented by new and ongoing investments, including on electric vehicle infrastructure and zero-emission vehicle incentives. It came on the heels of Governor Hochul’s announcement that more than 100 Evolve NY high-speed chargers have been installed across the state.

In her remarks, Tighe noted that there was work to be done before the Electric Vehicle market can truly take off. “While the infrastructure is being put in place, and while the private sector is beginning to see the writing on the wall, we need to do more,” said Tighe. “The market needs to open up further, and to do this we must allow direct-to-consumer sales of Electric Vehicles–it’s a policy that unites environmental, consumer, and free-market interests and is shown to be instrumental in increasing sales at no cost to the taxpayer.”

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