The cap on direct sales of electric vehicles should be lifted in New York in order to make it easier to buy one, a coalition of environmental and conservation organizations on Wednesday said. 

The push from the groups, which include New York League of Conservation Voters, Environmental Advocates New York, Environmental Entrepreneurs, the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, comes as lawmakers in the state Assembly are set to hold a hearing on transportation issues and electric vehicles. 

At issue are electric vehicle makers who are unable to operate independent dealerships in New York. Tesla is the sole manufacturer of electric vehicles that owns and operates five direct sales dealerships, which were grandfathered in during 2014 when the cap was first put in place. 

“There is a critical need to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and we can take immediate action through the rapid adoption of zero-emissions vehicles across New York State,” said Julie Tighe, the president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “If New York wants to continue being leaders in the fight against climate change, we need to increase the number of (zero emissions vehicles) on the road dramatically."

New York in the coming decades is set to transition to renewable and cleaner sources of energy and phase out gas-powered trucks and cars, making electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support them like charging stations key to making the change. 

“The direct sales cap in New York is a barrier to a transition to electric vehicles that needs to be done away with promptly," said Conor Bambrick, Director of Climate Policy at Environmental Advocates NY. "If we are to meet our climate goals, New York must ditch this relic of a law, get with the times, and fully allow the direct sale of electric vehicles."