New York is banning sales of new gas-powered passenger vehicles by 2035 in an attempt to save the planet

Sep 14th

I think this new law is to keep New Yorkers from leaving the state quickly in droves, since they'll have to stop every few hours to recharge their cars:

New York is aiming to ban the sale of all gas-powered vehicles in the state by 2035. A bill amending the state's environmental conservation law was passed by the state's Senate and Assembly and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul last week.

Under the new law, 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks will have zero emissions by 2035. That means state agencies will work to develop affordable powering options for zero-emissions vehicles in all communities, improve sustainable transportation and support bicycle and pedestrian options.

Several agencies will work to create a zero-emissions vehicle market development strategy by 2023, so [sic] ensure more zero-emission cars are available in the state.

Oh, also: New medium- and heavy-duty vehicles must be electric "where feasible" by 2045.

The order also sets a goal for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in California to be zero-emission "where feasible" by 2045. New York also hopes to reach that benchmark by 2045.

I'm sure NYC will love its fleet of new electric garbage trucks while crime, homelessness, and housing prices skyrocket.

"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," said NY Gov. Kathy Hochul.

One other thing: A certain percentage of trucks made after 2025 must be electric, so that's fun, too. I'm sure dealerships in the state won't get hurt by that requirement!

Look, I get that battery-power is likely the future, unless my childhood sci-fi dream of portable fusion power comes true.

Battery power is also pretty cool, as I just discovered with my first battery-powered lawn mower.

That being said, what's the goal here (or in California, where similar legislation passed last year)? Unless we have a battery revolution in the next decade, battery-powered vehicles are still going to have limits.

  • You think people are going to buy a super expensive electric SUV that can only be repaired at an expensive, specialized repair facility?
  • How are you going to explain to truck owners that they'll only be able to haul their 5th wheel or work trailer a short distance before stopping?
  • Are you going to tell parents that they'll have to stop to recharge the battery every few hundred miles on the way to Disneyland? It would be AWESOME to entertain kids for an hour in a parking lot as opposed to filling up with gas in 2 minutes flat!
  • Do you believe 14-year-olds mining lithium in Zimbabwe – to make a battery recharged off coal plants that will be thrown in a landfill – is going to "save the planet" by leaps and bounds over using conventional fuels?
  • What if you're a New Yorker who lives in the 99% of the state that isn't Manhattan? Good luck finding electric stations if you're not an urban socialite!
  • Will you let people know to expect reduced battery performance in the cold winters upstate? There's nothing that batteries love more than blowing snow and negative temps!

Here's the deal: People are going to gravitate towards whatever they believe is the most cost efficient AND helps reduce pollution, because regardless of what the government says to grab power, most people actually care about smog, air quality, and waste.

When the government MANDATES what technology is best, however, it doesn't let the market decide and it squashes new alternatives that might be better.

Usually, we look back on these things a few decades down the road and realize how idiotic we all were.

But good luck with that I guess, New York!


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