Posted on June15, 2018
How to Make Progress on Electric Vehicles
By Anne Reynolds
This Week in New York: How to Make Progress on Electric Vehicles
The last day of New York’s 2018 legislative session is next Wednesday, June 20th. State lawmakers have less than a week to wrap up their unfinished business, and any bills still stuck in committee when Legislators go home will be tabled until next January.
One bill that legislators should act on as soon as possible is Assembly bill 8248 (or its companion Senate bill 6600). This bill would lift the restrictive, outdated cap on the direct sale of zero-emissions vehicles to New Yorkers, allowing companies like Tesla to expand the adoption of clean transportation across the state.
Give New Yorkers More Electric Vehicle Choices (& create clean energy jobs!)
Most New Yorkers that want to buy a Tesla can’t do so directly from a store nearby. This bill would allow Tesla (or any other company that wanted to sell vehicles directly to consumers) to open new stores for sales and maintenance. This is important downstate, where there are no doubt thousands of people who would be thrilled to work with cutting-edge electric vehicles, but it’s especially important upstate, where exciting jobs in the clean energy business may be harder to come by. New York State can gain these jobs without having to spend a penny of its own, an opportunity that should be too good to pass up.
Help New York Meet Goals to Clean Up the Transportation Sector
New York’s emissions reductions goals are as ambitious, which is great. But to reach them, we have to have more electric vehicles on the roads. One easy way for the state to ensure that they’re reached is to expand the direct sale of zero-emissions vehicles. Electric vehicles make up less than 1% of all cars registered in New York, and given traditional auto dealers’ involvement in weakening fuel economy standards it seems unlikely that they’re going to step up their sales of these clean cars. Thus, companies like Tesla, that focus on electric vehicles and that sell direct-to-consumer -- and lack the dealers’ incentive to move gas-powered cars - need the ability to open more stores to boost the number of electric vehicles on the road.
Continue New York’s Proud Tradition as Environmental Leader
New York has a long, proud history of environmental leadership. And the cap on direct sales of vehicles was not put in place to stifle clean transportation, but that is what it is now doing. This cap is hindering our progress towards cleaner air by limiting the sale of electric vehicles. By lifting the cap, we can correct our course on this issue and uphold our rightfully-earned pro-environment reputation.
Yes, this year’s legislative session is rapidly coming to a close. But there is still plenty of time to get A.8248 through both chambers and to the Governor’s desk for signature. State legislators should act quickly and decisively to pass this legislation and help New York advance towards a cleaner energy future.