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Plans to Ban Gasoline Vehicles Spread in Effort to Cut Emissions

The Empire State is joining the Golden State in banning new gasoline-powered vehicles from being sold by 2035 in an effort to make EVs ubiquitous.

New York State is joining California in banning all sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 that politicians and environmental groups say will help speed up efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions and get more electric vehicles on the road.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced on Thursday that she is directing the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation to implement the regulations. Those regulations will reportedly be filed by the end of the year.

Hochul, who first announced the goal last year, said the state couldn’t move forward until California officially approved its own regulations—which it did last month, banning the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and trucks by 2035.

“We had to wait for California to take a step because there’s some federal requirement California had to go first,” Hochul told reporters at a press conference Thursday.

In August, California's Air Resources board moved to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2035. The Clean Air Act of 1970 granted California the ability to set its own environmental rules, and other states can choose to adopt them.

East and West United In Zero-Emission Targets

Like California, New York’s rules would apply to all new cars, pickup trucks and SUVs, Hochul said. The regulations would establish annual targets for the share of zero-emission vehicles automakers must sell in the state, starting at 35% in 2026, ramping up to 68% by 2030, and 100% by 2035.

Hochul said $175 million in federal funds from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would go toward building electric-vehicle charging stations.

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A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, so moving away from the internal combustion engine is a vital step in combatting climate change.

At the same time, replacing all those gas-powered engines with batteries continues to prove a challenge. EV manufacturers have gained traction in the U.S. as a number of them invest billions into constructing their own battery plants, but those plants aren't expected to ramp up for years.

Gas-Powered Engines Already Being Phased Out

Many carmakers have already said they are working toward an eventual phaseout of gas-powered vehicles.

But not all of them. Ford (F) earlier this month revealed its seventh-generation Mustang sports car that will very much contain lots of pistons and other moving parts that require oil, gasoline and sparks to make the wheels spin -- and make lots of noise and emit carbon emissions doing so.

The unusual move came as Ford rival General Motors (GM) revealed its own plan to beat Tesla (TSLA) at its own game with a $30,000 electric vehicle for all. It also came on the same day President Joe Biden announced the first round of funding for an EV charging network across 35 states.

Nationally, President Biden has set a voluntary target for half of U.S. auto sales to be zero-emission by 2030. Ford itself is pushing its own dealers to become “EV Certified” by Oct. 31.