New York State lawmakers push to expand electric vehicle accessibility

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – While gas prices are climbing in some parts of the United States, a group of progressive lawmakers in New York is pushing legislation to get more electric vehicles on the roadways.

“Allowing zero emission vehicle manufacturers to have direct sales will exponentially increase the amount of zero emission vehicles on the road,” said NYS Senator Todd Kaminsky.

Kaminsky says his bill will make it easier for customers to have access to electric vehicles across the state. Currently there is a cap on ‘direct sales locations’ for EVs. 

Assemblymember Pat Fahy’s Office says California has 690,602 zero emission vehicles on the road. New York by contrast has 68,797. “For us not to even be in the top ten of ownership is just it’s almost inexplicable. How can Oklahoma, Iowa, other states beat us on EV ownership?” Fahy said. She says more zero emission dealerships are especially needed Upstate.

Senator Pete Harckham is also sponsoring a bill that has passed the legislature and would require all new car sales to be zero emissions by 2035. “How can we do that if we have prohibition on the direct sales of electric vehicles here in New York? And that’s where this bill comes into play,” Harckham said. 

As Democrats push for more options to purchase electric vehicles, Republicans are calling on the Governor to suspend the gas tax following the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline resulting from a ransomware attack. In a statement Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said, “New York’s gas tax is among the highest in the nation, and we implore you to suspend the gas tax immediately to provide much-needed relief to New York families and businesses.”

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