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New York State striving for more electric vehicles on the roads

A car is refueling.

Advocates for the environment would like to see the streets of New York State look more environmentally friendly within the next three years. New York’s Alliance for Clean Energy is lobbying state lawmakers for measures that would help get more zero-emission vehicles on the road.

Alliance policy director Deb Peck Kelleher said one way would be reversing a law that has kept certain electric vehicle companies from selling directly to customers in Upstate New York.

So we would like to see consumers across the state be able to purchase the vehicles they want where they live.

Now companies such as Tesla, Rivian, Lucid and other electric-vehicle makers are prohibited from having more showrooms. Legislation being considered in Albany would remove the cap on direct electric vehicle dealerships.

New York has committed to putting 850,000 zero emission vehicles on the road by the end of 2025. Kelleher said it’s all about consumers being more comfortable with a new technology. She said building charging stations and improving battery technology will help.

"We’re working with all their state agencies to make sure all the pieces are in place as we start to move forward in electrification.

Kelleher said another step in the right direction is Gov. Kathy Hochul pledging support for electric school buses.

“It will be a great thing for our school districts just to remove that diesel pollution away from out school kids. They won’t be breathing it in while they’re waiting to get on the bus and they won’t be breathing it in while they’re sitting on the bus. So, I think this will be a win-win for everybody there.”

Hochul’s state budget includes $12 million for the Drive Clean Rebate program to help people purchase an electric vehicle, and $2.7 million awarded to local governments to install zero emission fueling stations.