Community Engagement
Electric Vehicles

New York governor unveils statewide electric vehicle effort

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on March 6 unveiled a new electric vehicle campaign for the state that includes the installation of charging stations, incentives for employers to encourage employees to drive electric vehicles and extensive public education and outreach.

The increased use of electric vehicles will help the state in achieving its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, the governor's office noted in a news release. The campaign, which supports the Governor's Charge NY initiative, will be overseen by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Work on the projects will start immediately and will include the installation of 450 charging stations across the state. Of these, approximately 150 will be located at workplaces throughout New York, supporting a Cuomo proposal for the construction of 500 new workplace charging stations.

The units will be installed in Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, Utica, Albany, the Hudson Valley, Westchester County, New York City and Long Island.

Additional projects in the campaign will include working with New York City-area public and private employers to create an incentive program specifically for their employees to encourage them to buy electric vehicles and conducting outreach to employers statewide to educate them on the benefits of providing workplace charging stations for their employees.

The effort will also include hosting public test drive and ride events and providing innovative financing to make installing charging stations more economically viable for site owners.

City to become EV model city under pilot

In addition, Rochester will launch a pilot to become an electric vehicle model city. The goal is to demonstrate how developing an electric vehicle ecosystem can increase electric vehicle adoption and prepare a community for long-term electric vehicle growth.

State, city and community leaders worked together to identify actions to support Rochester's evolution into an electric vehicle model city, including adding electric vehicles to the city fleet, installing charging stations, creating a speaker's bureau for community events and training for local dealerships, the press release noted.

Projects will be managed by three contractors

The projects will be managed by three contractors — EV Connect, Energetics and Calstart -- for a total of $4.8 million.

Each contractor is responsible for different elements at specific locations, though all will be installing charging stations and administering marketing and outreach programs.

Funding for public power, cooperatives part of NYPA program

In February, Cuomo today announced $3 million in new funding to help eligible municipalities and rural electric cooperatives purchase electric vehicles for use in their municipal use fleets.

The initiative is part of the New York Power Authority's Municipal Electric-Drive Vehicle program, which provides financial assistance to facilitate the replacement of less fuel-efficient vehicles.

All types of commercially available electric and hybrid electric vehicles are offered for purchase under this program including passenger cars, pickup trucks, off-road specialty vehicles and heavy-duty utility bucket trucks.

Municipalities and rural electric cooperatives that currently receive low-cost hydropower from the NYPA are eligible to participate in this program. The funding builds on $5 million previously distributed under this program that has helped put 61 clean vehicles into service in 24 towns and villages across New York.

NYPA's Municipal Electric-Drive Vehicle program works by providing zero-interest financing. The funds made available for the purchase of these vehicles are recovered over the course of three years.

Along with the Municipal Electric-Drive Vehicle Program, NYPA provides communities with an array of energy-efficiency services and has helped install electric vehicle charging infrastructure in support of the Charge NY initiative.

Earlier in 2017, NYPA offered its municipal and rural electric cooperative customers access to favorable pricing for the supply, installation and maintenance of these EV charging stations through a master contract.

Rebates for zero-emission vehicles

Cuomo last fall announced $3 million for rebates through the state's Environmental Protection Fund for municipalities to purchase or lease zero-emission vehicles, such as battery electric and hydrogen vehicles, for their fleets.