Electric Vehicles

NYPA, other parties seek incentives for fast EV chargers

In an effort to boost the use of electric vehicles in New York, the New York Power Authority, investor-owned utilities and state agencies are seeking approval of a plan to spur the installation of public direct current fast charging stations.

The DCFC proposal is part of New York’s overall goal of encouraging electric vehicles to help cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

New York is one of 10 states that has adopted California’s Zero Emission Vehicle regulations and has signed onto a multi-state agreement that set a goal of 3.3 million ZEVs in eight states by 2025. New York’s share of the goal is 800,000 ZEVs, but there are only 38,000 registered ZEVs in the state.

New York has 75 DCFC stations with 304 plugs, but more than 1,500 plugs are likely needed for the state to meet its ZEV goals, according to the proposal.

“To meet this challenge, publicly available and affordable vehicle charging options are a necessary component of a plan to encourage drivers to purchase and drive EVs,” NYPA and the other utilities and state agencies said in the proposal filed in late November with the New York Public Service Commission.

The proposal calls for utilities to offer an annual per-plug incentive to support the development of public DCFC stations. The incentives would phase out over seven years.

The proposed incentives vary based on the utilities’ rate structures and costs and the size of the charging plug.

National Grid, for example, would pay annual incentives of $7,500 per plug larger than 75 kilowatts and $4,500 for plugs between 50 kW to 74 kW. The incentive would decline to $1,071 and $643 by 2025 for the two sizes.

Consolidated Edison and Orange and Rockland Utilities would offer lower per-plug incentives but they would be coupled with discounted delivery rates.

In urban areas, where drivers often lack off-street parking and associated charging infrastructure, accessible charging stations should help overcome so-called charging anxiety, said NYPA spokeswoman Lynne Smith. On major travel corridors, the fast-charging stations should reduce “range anxiety” experienced by long-distance EV drivers, she said.

Last month, NYPA announced plans to install 200 fast-charging plugs on state corridors and in urban areas by 2020, which would allow drivers to charge their batteries in 20 minutes.

“There has been, however, minimal private DCFC investment due to the limited number of EVs on the road today combined with high capital and operating costs,” the proposal said.

Among the incentives New York offers EV owners, utilities can offer lower-cost residential time-of-use rates to encourage vehicle charging during off-peak hours.

The parties filing the DCFC proposal are: Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., Con Ed, New York State Electric & Gas Corp., NYPA, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Transportation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Thruway Authority, National Grid, O&R and Rochester Gas and Electric Corp.