New report: New York among national leaders in electric vehicle adoption

Media Contacts
Morgan Hayward

Former Director, Destination: Zero Carbon, Environment America

Decade-long analysis details dramatic clean energy growth in New York and nation

Environment New York Research & Policy Center

NEW YORK CITY– New York ranks second in the nation for cumulative electric vehicle sales through 2020, according to a new report released today by Environment New York Research & Policy Center. Renewables on the Rise 2021: The rapid growth of renewables, electric vehicles and other building blocks of a clean energy future documents the growth of six key clean energy technologies across the U.S. over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and heat pumps. As of 2020, New York had nearly 80,000 EVs on the road and had deployed more than 6,500 charging ports across the state. This analysis comes as two federal bills could allocate billions of dollars in funding towards electric vehicle infrastructure and tax credits which will jumpstart vehicle electrification in New York and around the country.

“New York is charging ahead towards a future powered by clean electric vehicles,” said Eve Lukens-Day, Global Warming Solutions Associate with Environment New York Research & Policy Center. “New Yorkers can look forward to a safer, healthier future, thanks to the state’s leadership in EV adoption”

Beyond top-ranking EV sales, the Empire state has also seen a 35-fold growth in solar energy since 2011. For electric vehicles to be truly emissions free, they must be charged by a grid powered by clean energy, so the tandem growth of renewables on the grid and EVs on the road is essential. Strong and supportive policies, combined with falling prices, have played a key role in driving adoption of these clean energy technologies, according to the report. New York has long been at the forefront of the EV transition, adopting California’s Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) program in 2013. Most recently, Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law a commitment to make all new vehicle sales in New York electric by 2035. The state also has considerable incentives to support solar energy, including a tax credit of up to $5,000 for installation of solar equipment, and is one of nine in the U.S. that has committed to 100% clean or renewable electricity. 

In addition to highlighting states that have made the most progress in adopting renewable energy technologies, the research also details the rapid gains achieved nationally over the past decade. According to the report, America produced almost four times as much renewable electricity from the sun and the wind in 2020 as in 2011. Additionally, if wind, solar and geothermal generation continue growing at the same 15% annual rate, renewables could meet the nation’s electricity needs by 2035. 

“Millions of Americans and New Yorkers are already reaping the benefits of the dramatic clean energy progress we’ve made so far,” Lukens-Day said. “But, there’s still more to do to leave fossil fuels behind for good. New York is up for the challenge, for in addition to leading in solar and EVs, the state is set to go big on offshore wind in the near future. By keeping up these bold investments in clean energy, New York can accelerate towards an 100% renewable energy future.”