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Low and Zero Emission Vehicles

The federal Clean Air Act allows NYS to adopt California's zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standards. As a result, NYS' Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program is modeled after the California LEV program. It applies to all new on-road motor vehicles, motor vehicle engines, and emission control systems delivered for sale in NYS.

The NYS LEV program requires all new vehicles sold in NYS also meet California emissions standards, which are more stringent than federal standards. The goal of the LEV program is to reduce emissions of smog-forming pollutants including hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen. Reducing engine pollution protects the environment and the health of NYS residents.

The LEV program also includes (ZEV and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission standards modeled after California programs. To meet ZEV standards, manufacturers must deliver ZEVs including:

  • Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV)
  • Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV)
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), and
  • conventional vehicles with extremely low emissions.

ZEVs provide an emission reduction benefit as a result of the absence of tailpipe emissions. PHEV, HEV and low emission conventional vehicles enable the development and implementation of ZEV technologies. NYS' GHG standards are designed to reduce mobile source GHG emissions including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and motor vehicle air conditioning refrigerants.

ZEV and ZEV-enabling technologies are important to achieving and maintaining the long-term air quality of NYS. Vehicles equipped with these technologies emit fewer smog-forming and GHG pollutants than conventional vehicles, while providing similar performance, utility, and safety attributes.

In addition to emission-reduction benefits, ZEVs, PHEVs, and HEVs save consumers money through reduced operating expenses over the life of the vehicle, primarily through reduced fuel use.

Examples of vehicles with various advanced technologies:


The BMW i3 is a BEV vehicle The Nissan Leaf is a BEV vehicle The Tesla Model S is a BEV vehicle


The Honda Clarity is an FCV vehicle The Toyota Mirai is an FCV vehicle


The Chevy Volt is a PHEV vehicle The Hyundai Sonata PHEV is a PHEV vehicle


The Ford Fusion HEV is an HEV vehicle The Volkswagen Jetta HEV is an HEV vehicle

Zero Emission Vehicle Credit Balances

Each manufacturer shares ZEV credit information with DEC. This information is shared with the public every year. This is identical to the information released by California under their state laws and by states that have adopted California standards.

More about Low and Zero Emission Vehicles: