New York Bill Bans Gas-Powered Off-Road Vehicles As Of 2035

Ross Ballot
by Ross Ballot
Photo Caption: stockwerk-fotodesign /

New York is among the states pushing for the more prominent implementation of clean energy and the environmental conservation that comes along with it, and Senate Bill S2758, which "Provides that one hundred percent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks shall be zero-emissions by two thousand thirty-five, medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles by two thousand forty-five and off-road vehicles and equipment by two thousand thirty-five." The Senate Bill is in limbo, awaiting further motion, but how will this play out and in what way will it affect our beloved ATVs and UTVs?

The obvious—and unfortunate—answer to the first part of the question is "It's impossible to know." While local and federal government arms are working to reduce our society's impact on the climate and environment, what happens behind closed doors largely remains a mystery. As such, the goalposts for these broad, sweeping bills and laws seems to be ever-changing thanks to lobbyist groups, industry that is too big to change quickly, and countless other factors. Long story short: What is written as law today technically can always change, and in the ever-evolving realm of environmental science and the push for green, renewable energy, it's very possible that will happen before the dates mentioned herein arrive. For example, if 2035 nears and it seems unlikely that manufacturers will be able to meet this standard, the date and punishment for not obliging the law can (and possibly will) be pushed back a few years (or decades).

As for Senate Bill S2758 and its impact on the sale of gas-powered ATVs and UTVs, a few things are important to note. First, the bill is purposefully aimed squarely at passenger cars and trucks being those that are required to fulfill a zero-emissions clause by 2023; even heavy-duty pickups, like the 2500 and 3500-class trucks so many of us tow trailers with, are not obligated to meet this mandate until 2045. It does note the requirement for new "off-road vehicles and equipment [must be zero-emissions] by two thousand thirty-five," which is where it gets interesting. This isn't about noise, or even immediate physical impact, but rather the overall environmental impact brought upon by gasoline-powered vehicles. It's indisputable that emissions are bad in any capacity, and then it's just a matter of to what degree; bringing this level to zero for new vehicles means less detriment upon the environment that we call our home.

Will this affect the machines that people have been buying in droves since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic? It's truly too soon to say, but if things continue as planned, 2034 may be the last year to buy a gasoline-powered ATV or UTV. That's not to say manufacturers will stop producing gas-powered four-wheelers altogether, it's just that the purchase price may rise as the cost of paying fines for not meeting government mandates get baked into the MSRP. Do also remember that this doesn't mean you won't be able to go out and buy an excellent used machine; instead, take this as rationale for performing diligent upkeep on your ATV or UTV so that you and its next owner can enjoy it to the fullest, without worry of major mechanical failure.

If electric ATVs and UTVs replicate the experience of a gas-powered machine anywhere near as well as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, it's not all bad, and rather could be a sign of good things to come. We just hope the government can also look to spaces like the heavy shipping and airline industries to do their part to reduce emissions and the subsequent pollution as well, so that everyone can continue to enjoy their hobbies in harmony.

Ross Ballot
Ross Ballot

Ross hosts The Off the Road Again Podcast. He has been in the off-road world since he was a kid riding in the back of his dad’s YJ Wrangler. He works in marketing by day and in his free time contributes to Hooniverse, AutoGuide, and, and in the past has contributed to UTV Driver, ATV Rider, and Everyday Driver. Ross drives a 2018 Lexus GX460 that is an ongoing build project featured on multiple websites and the podcast and spends his free time working on and riding ATVs.

More by Ross Ballot