Electric Vehicles

New York governor unveils several initiatives aimed at boosting EVs

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 16 unveiled several initiatives aimed at boosting the deployment of electric vehicles in the state.

The New York Public Service Commission on July 16 approved an “EV Make-Ready Program” that will be funded by investor-owned utilities in New York State and create a cost-sharing program that incentivizes utilities and charging station developers to site EV charging infrastructure in places that will provide a maximal benefit to consumers.

The PSC order caps the total budget at $701 million and will run through 2025, with $206 million allocated toward equitable access and benefits for lower-socio-economic and disadvantaged communities which will also be eligible for a higher incentive supporting up to 100 percent of the costs to make a site ready for EV charging.

The PSC’s action will provide funding for the infrastructure required to support more than 50,000 Level 2 charging plugs, capable of charging a vehicle at least two times faster than a standard wall outlet, and 1,500 public direct current fast charger stations in New York in recognition of the essential role that public fast charging stations will play in the near term to allay range anxiety, Cuomo’s office said in a news release.

$48.8 million of Volkswagen settlement funding

In addition to the make ready funding from investor-owned utilities, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is allocating $48.8 million from the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement to transit bus and school bus operators and EV charging station owners to advance local growth of electric vehicle infrastructure, clean public transportation and transit options, and electric school buses. 

LIPA announces goal to support 180,000 new EVs on Long Island

Meanwhile, the Long Island Power Authority, with its service provider, PSEG Long Island, also announced a goal to support 180,000 new EVs on Long Island with 4,650 new EV charging ports by 2025, beginning with a proposed 2021 investment of $4.4 million in make-ready infrastructure.

"Governor Cuomo's efforts to expand electric vehicles is a boost for the climate and the economy,” said LIPA CEO Tom Falcone.

NYPA partnerships

As part of the Governor's State of the State commitment to electrify transit buses for five major transit operators across the state, the New York Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will partner with these transit operators and provide up to $1 million to study the challenges of zero emissions bus fleets and identify solutions for electrification including bus options, charging needs and other logistical challenges.

And, as part of the state's commitment to EV infrastructure, the New York State Department of State (DOS) is collaborating with NYPA to significantly expand deployment of DC fast chargers in downtown communities through Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

DOS and NYPA will work with local governments and key stakeholders to identify communities participating in the DRI that may be interested in hosting public fast chargers. 

The first downtown chargers will be installed through this program fall of 2021.

In addition, through its EVolve NY initiative, NYPA has recently installed two new DC fast charger stations in key Mid-Hudson locations and is working with the New York State Thruway to upgrade its plaza charging stations. 

"NYPA is pleased to support Governor Cuomo's bold and innovative efforts to decarbonize the transportation sector,” said NYPA President and CEO Gil Quiniones.

“The Make Ready program will help leverage the full potential of comprehensive state and utility EV programs. I am excited to see the electrification of the transportation sector and all its benefits realized in the near future,” he said.

Quiniones said that NYPA's Evolve NY team “is making electric vehicle driving the easier choice by installing fast charging equipment along New York's highways and byways, in urban centers and suburban downtowns, and at high-traffic bus depots upstate and downstate. At every corner, NYPA is building EV charging infrastructure for public transportation fleets, and for EV drivers to help decrease range anxiety and ensure New Yorkers and visitors can travel our great state from one end to the other while driving electric."

Electrification MOU

Meanwhile, in order to further accelerate the electrification of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle fleets and in support of a multi-state medium- and heavy-duty transportation electrification MOU announced this month, the PSC has also directed utilities to create a Fleet Assessment Service that includes site feasibility and rate analysis, to aide fleet owners in identifying cost- and time- saving synergies.

The deployment of charging infrastructure that will occur under the order will enable access to public charging for EV adopters, which coupled with innovative rate designs for home charging to promote off-peak charging, will maximize utility system efficiency, Cuomo’s office said. The need to make rate design modifications will be reviewed as the EV initiative moves forward.

On July 14, Cuomo announced that New York, along with 14 states and the District of Columbia will develop an action plan to ramp up electrification of buses and trucks.

The goal of the MOU is to ensure that 100 percent of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales be zero emission vehicles by 2050 with an interim target of 30 percent zero-emission vehicle sales in these categories of vehicles by 2030.

Signatories of the MOU are: California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia. 

Along with initiatives to electrify vehicles and truck fleets benefiting environmental justice and disadvantaged communities, the Commission has also directed NYSERDA to propose an integrated competition, with up to $85 million of the EV Make Ready total budget, designed to directly address emissions, equity and electrification in communities near high-density and congested streets and public highways.  

Three prize areas will focus on supporting clean transportation options which benefit lower socio-economic and environmental justice communities.

Other initiatives and programs

Other initiatives and programs designed to achieve Cuomo's Charge NY goal of 10,000 EV charging stations by the end of 2021 and 850,000 zero emission vehicles by 2025 are already underway.

Under NYSERDA's Drive Clean Rebate program, more than $35 million in rebates have now resulted in over 25,000 electric vehicle purchases as of June of this year.

APPA EV activities tracker

The American Public Power Association has developed a Public Power EV Activities Tracker that summarizes key efforts undertaken by members — including incentives, electric vehicle deployment, charging infrastructure investments, rate design, pilot programs, and more.