Internal combustion engines are one of the most spectacular inventions on Earth—the rumble of a thousand tiny, captive explosions a minute; if you’re a car enthusiast, there is nothing that can bring a smile to your face faster than the sound of a beautiful engine. Unfortunately, emissions are a direct and visible byproduct of ICE vehicles, where electric vehicles have the ability to hide their embedded carbon footprints. With that in mind, it seems like New York will attempt to ban the sale of combustion engine cars by 2035, which is likely to have a massive ripple effect through the industry.
According to CNBC, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation defines a zero-emission vehicle as battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Newly-appointed Governor Kathy Hochul signed the legislation that will ban the sale of any cars outside of this category. With many manufacturers already putting in the effort to offer more electric versions of their vehicles, this could very well be a glimpse into the future. However, most hybrid vehicles aren’t plug-in, which would mean manufacturers couldn’t sell new ICE vehicles in New York after 2035.
The timeline is a ways out, and there’s a possibility that automakers may not even have combustion-engine vehicles in fourteen years. But, as it stands in the truck and commercial vehicle market as a whole, there remains no substitute for the power density and capabilities of combustion engines. Major advancements in technology will still need to happen, and they need to have favorable economics and reliability at the same time.
New York Gas Ban Will Have Economic Blowback
Companies like Tesla and Rivian won’t feel any of the effects of this legislation since their business model is already focusing on zero emissions. Ford Motor Company and General Motors are also shifting their focus away from internal combustion engines to meet consumer demand. However, the National Automobile Dealership Associations data states that New York state generated nearly $60 billion of light-duty vehicle revenue. New York expects this change to reduce 85% of greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 2050, but with such a high number of sales from the state, it’s hard to see how this legislation will end up succeeding.
California also signed over an order last year to ban the sale of new combustion engine vehicles by 2035. With New York state following in their footsteps, this may very well be the future of the automotive industry, and a sad wheeze of electricity could very well replace the roar of combustion.