September 29, 2022
Albany, NY

B-Roll, Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Drives Forward New York's Transition to Clean Transportation

B-Roll, Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Drives Forward New York's Transition to Clean Transportation

Directive to Advance Zero-Emission Vehicles Requirements by 2035 for All New Passenger Cars, Pickup Trucks, and SUVs Sold in State

Significant New Funding Opportunities Now Available to Support the Transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles and Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure

EVolve NY Fast Charging Network Surpasses 100 Chargers Installed Expanding Charging Infrastructure Across State

New York Receives $175 Million in Federal Funding to Establish EV Charging Network

Governor Hochul: "We can't undo the past, but we can look to the future. And we're going to continue making New York State the home of electric vehicle usage...We're really putting our foot down the accelerator, and revving up our efforts to make sure we have this transition. Not someday in the future, but on a specific date, a specific year, by the year 2035."

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul commemorated National Drive Electric Week by directing the State Department of Environmental Conservation to take major regulatory action that will require all new passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs sold in New York State to be zero emissions by 2035. This is a crucial regulatory step to achieving significant greenhouse gas emission reductions from the transportation sector and is complemented by new and ongoing investments also announced today, including electric vehicle infrastructure progress, zero-emission vehicle incentives, and ensuring New York's communities benefit from historic federal climate change investments.

B-ROLL of Governor Hochul driving an electric car is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the event is available here.

PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor's Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks are available below:

Good morning. Good morning. Great to be back in White Plains. A little windy out, but it's a lot better than it is in other parts of our state right now, in other parts of our country. But I do want to welcome everyone here and give a special shout out to, first of all, Senator Pete Harckham, who you'd be hearing from shortly. I want to thank him for his years of service, his friendship, and his advocacy for the people of his district.

Also Senator Jamaal Bailey has joined us. Where are you, Senator? Right there. Senator, thank you for being such a great champion and supporting our Clean Energy Initiatives. Amy Paulin, we're in your district. It's a fabulous district and I thank you for your service as well. Westchester is synonymous with George Latimer, a great leader and someone I've gotten to know for many, many years. George Latimer. Tom Roach, who's our mayor here and this is not my first visit to this area or to be touring what he's done here. We'll be talking about that in a few minutes. But also Doreen Harris, my passenger, someone who's got great courage. So, I thank her for her work as the CEO of NYSERDA.

So, it's great to come back here because you get a chance to put a spotlight on places that are really nation-leading. And as we look to the future, you can already look at what people who have a vision have already accomplished. So, it's fitting that we'd be here in White Plains to make some announcements about our transition as a state to electric vehicles. I came here back in 2015, I believe, Mayor, and you walked me through the downtown and you were talking about all the electric charging station that you wanted to see for your community. And no other mayors were talking like that. I mean, you just were so ahead of your time, and I remember you said you want to be at the forefront of the clean energy revolution. And you've really embraced this. You have 16 hybrid electric cars in your fleet leading our state, 28 city-owned electric charging stations and as well as all the other things that you and the City Council have accomplished.

So, I want to continue to hold you out as a model of what true leadership looks like, especially here this past week because we celebrated Climate Week. I've participated in a number of initiatives, a number of announcements. But also in New York, every week is Climate Week. This is not a new phenomenon. Every week is Climate Week, and we're committed to protecting our environment and combating climate change every single day. But in particular, this is actually National Drive Electric Week, so there's a week for everything, but this is National Drive Electric Week. So really, the electric vehicles are the keys to achieving this. And I know what I'm talking about because they've been having me test drive electric vehicles since their inception. I guess it's always like when I was Lieutenant Governor - go ahead, have the Lieutenant Governor do it. I actually did a lot of autonomous vehicles by myself on highways. So, go figure. Now I have a Lieutenant Governor who can do that for me.

But it is great, great, great to see what we're doing here. And you know, I haven't - I've always posed this question so you know the answer because you've heard me say it, but did you know how long we've had electric vehicles in the State of New York? Over a hundred years. Over a hundred years. But 10 points to the person who can shout out the name of the place where they first started. Buffalo. Buffalo. You can take the girl out of Buffalo, but you can't take Buffalo out of the girl. I get it. I get it. It's Buffalo. And what it was was, and I actually went and visited the museum where they celebrate this great accomplishment, and the original story is that while men were at work, women wanted to have some freedom. And it was very hard for them to really drive and have the ability to escape their domestic servitude in many cases. They had electric - they had a crank that was very hard for them. So, a Buffalo electric motor company was created and they had the first electric vehicles, which actually gave women the freedom to drive even before they had the freedom and the right to vote. So, that's where we were a long time ago. So, that's where we were a long time. And if we hadn't had the oil barons of the time decide that there is another energy source known as oil and gasoline to power our vehicles, can you imagine what a different world we'd be in today? With respect to our environment? So, we can't undo the past, but we can look to the future. And we're going to continue making New York State the home of electric vehicle usage.

And I'm excited because vehicles like this are made right in Detroit. American-made. I think the Mayor will talk a little about his experience with these vehicles, and here's how we're making it happen. We're really putting our foot down the accelerator, and revving up our efforts to make sure we have this transition. Not someday in the future, but on a specific date, a specific year, by the year 2035. And I signed this goal last year. We had to wait for California to take a step because there's some federal requirements that California had to go first, that's the only time letting them go first, that's all right. But once they made that decision, we were able to step up immediately and say, "Now there's nothing holding us back." So, we've achieved that milestone, that we can be zero-emission vehicles, new vehicles, all these zero-emission vehicles by the year 2035.

So, we are also working on our Advanced Clean Cars II initiatives, and that's going to be 35 percent of electric vehicles by 2026, and 68 percent by the year 2030. So it's not just saying all of a sudden in the future, we actually have benchmarks to achieve, to show we're on the path to get there. Also, upfront costs are still high. They're still high. I understand that. So, we're going to continue having an assistance program to help purchasers defray the cost. And today I'm here to announce that we're adding $10 million to our Drive Clean Rebate program to help New Yorkers purchase and drive these vehicles. The rebate is available in all 62 counties. That's up to $2,000 per vehicle. And already we've issued over 78,000 rebates, and I want to continue that trajectory, and we've already spent over $95 million. So we're going to do that.

But okay, we have the vehicles. What about the chargers? Got to have the chargers. And I'm proud to announce that the Power Authority has just finished their installation of their 100th evolved New York Fast Charger. Now, there's a difference between chargers and fast chargers. I've launched a lot of the Fast Charger stations. Think about how simple this is. Simply pull into a - formerly known as a gas station, convenience store. You want to pick up a couple snacks to take home. While you're in there for 20 minutes with a fast charging station, your vehicle can be charged. No longer does it have to be overnight and longer periods of time. So, we're focused on getting these fast chargers out there, and we've already accomplished over 100 when we're just getting started. So, we're never going to hesitate. We are not heading down that dead end street any longer. We're going to keep powering forward, but I want to make sure that we have the investments necessary.

Lastly, the federal government Department of Transportation last week approved a $5 billion plan — $5 billion, that's a lot of zeros — for all 50 states to have charging stations and allocates, within that, $175 million for New York State. We've been already on this path, we've been on this road before. But now with this extra money from the federal commitment to clean energy initiatives, we'll be even faster. So that's going to help over 14 interstates in New York, especially ones used by the people in this community — I-95, I-87, I-84, and I-684. So, you're going to see that you have no more excuses, is my point. Okay? If you're saying, "Well, there's no more — I don't have enough charging stations." That era is over. I'm telling you where they are. So, now we're ready to launch into this future. So that builds on our already $1 billion investment in expanding charging stations. So, I expect EV sales to go up. They've been up 30 percent already over 2021. That's extraordinary. And that's with supply chain shortages. You talk to a lot of dealers and the whole phenomenon we had with not having enough chips at the manufacturing facilities, we've had those issues. With that being said, our sales are still up 30 percent over last year.

So, we're also going to be making sure our school buses, school buses — think about the kids who stand there and have to breathe in the fumes while they're waiting for the bus to come. That era will be over, and we've committed to making sure that by 2027, all school buses — all new school buses — will be zero emission as well. And the whole fleet must be zero emission by the year 2035. So, we're going to make sure we have the resources. We have over $500 million from our Environmental Bond Act on the ballot this November. Just want to point that out. Make sure you turn over your ballot, make sure you do the right thing and take a look at that. And so, welcome to the future. It's starting right here in places like White Plains. And again, I want to thank our Mayor for leading the way and making sure we can see that if there's an intentionality, if you decide to do something — you make that commitment — it can be done, and we're seeing the evidence of that right here. But to continue the conversation and his reflections on it, I'd like to bring up our Senator, Pete Harckham. Thank you.

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