ElectrifyNY Supports NY Clean Cars Program: New Report Shows the Program Could Save Drivers $80 Billion, Avoid 400+ Hospital Visits

New York Electric Vehicle Sales Requirement will Improve Air Quality, Protect Public Health


Jessica Enzmann (jessica.enzmann@sierraclub.org)

Jaqi Cohen (jaqi@tstc.org)

Kathy Harris (kharris@nrdc.org)

Nydia Gutierrez (ngutierrez@earthjustice.org)

New York has long been a clean car leader with a history of adopting stronger than federal standards that save residents money at the pump and clean our air. New York State is making the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) Rule permanent this year. This action by the Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) represents a major step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from the transportation sector, and makes New Yorkers less reliant on expensive and volatile fossil fuels that wreak havoc on our household budgets and economy. It also puts into place one of the core recommendations from the recently-finalized Climate Scoping Plan, which charts a path to achieve the significant emission reductions required to implement the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).

New York can avoid over 400 hospital visits and save over $80 billion by transitioning to zero-emission electric cars and light-duty trucks, according to a new report. The New York Advanced Clean Cars II Program report investigated the climate, health, and job benefits if the state were to adopt Advanced Clean Cars II, a program which, by 2035, would require that every new car and light-duty truck sold in New York be zero-emission. The report was prepared by ERM and commissioned by NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and the Sierra Club.

Beginning in model year 2026, the regulation will rapidly decrease emissions from new passenger cars and trucks by requiring an increasing number of those vehicles to be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). ACCII implements legislation (A.4302/S.2758) enacted in New York State in 2021 by ensuring that all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state will be ZEVs by 2035.

The report outlined three scenarios for the state and discovered that if the state were to adopt Advanced Clean Cars II that by 2050 there would be:

  • 447 to 501 avoided premature deaths and 433 to 485 avoided hospital visits from breathing polluted air,
  • Cost-savings to New York State vehicle owners of over $80 billion,
  • Reductions of up to 298 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, 117,500 metric tons of NOx, and 10,300 metric tons of particulate matter,
  • National job gains of approximately 11,700 and up-to a $4 billion increase in 2050 GDP,
  • Increased wages for the new jobs that will be added relative to the jobs that will be replaced.

“The sale of dirty, gas-powered vehicles has no place in New York’s climate future, and we’re proud to see New York join climate leaders across the country in phasing out the sale and use of these cars,” said Renae Reynolds, Executive Director of Tri State Transportation Campaign. “Electrifying the transportation sector is a critical piece needed in the puzzle of solving the climate crisis, and we applaud the Hochul administration for adopting the ACCII rule which will significantly reduce emissions from New York’s transportation sector. We know that this step will set an example for states across the region to take bold action as well. ”

“The report highlights what we already know; the ACC II program will help the State reach the climate targets outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and improve air quality, particularly for low-income communities and communities of color,” said Kevin Garcia, Transportation Planner with the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “New Yorkers in environmental justice communities are counting on the state to move forward with this program and phase out polluting vehicles wreaking havoc on their health.”

“This report provides further proof about the serious harm of today’s combustion-based transportation system and the staggering benefits that New York State’s transition to a zero-emission transportation will provide. The results are crystal clear: zeroing out emissions from passenger cars and trucks will benefit all New Yorkers,” said Alok Disa, Senior Research and Policy Analyst with Earthjustice. “But additional policies will be needed to accelerate the transition away from combustion vehicles across all sectors, and to center workers and environmental justice as the Hochul administration moves to a 100% zero-emission transportation future.”

“Governor Hochul and the Department of Environmental Conservation are wasting no time implementing New York’s historic Climate Action plan. Passenger vehicles with no emissions will lower carbon, smog, and soot pollution in our air and improve the health and well-being of every New Yorker. As New York adopts these rules, the Governor and the Legislature must make sure we use every resource on the table to make electric vehicles accessible for all,” said Conor Bambrick, Director of Policy for Environmental Advocates NY.

“New York has the opportunity to do much more to move forward electric vehicles in the state and ensure that residents are breathing in fewer pollutants,” said Kathy Harris, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “The benefits outlined in the ERM report through the adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars II rule — including improved public health and vehicle owner savings — will put the state on a pathway that centers climate action around equity and affordability for all New Yorkers.”

“This report shows what New York stands to gain from adopting a regulation that will save lives, slash climate emissions, and ease the economic burden for households,” said Jessica Enzmann, senior organizing representative with the Sierra Club. “We urge New York to move forward quickly with the Advanced Clean Cars II Program.”

ElectrifyNY is a statewide coalition of advocates for environmental justice, public transportation, social justice, and good jobs fighting for a clean, equitable electric transportation future for New York. Our work aims to improve the environment and public health outcomes for the communities most affected by the negative impacts of the transportation sector’s dependency on fossil fuels.

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