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Cuomo’s Big Boost for EVs

$4.2 million dedicated to fast charging stations along the NYS Thruway

Drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) will be happy to hear that fast charging stations are being rolled out along the NY Thruway. The Governor has announced that $4.2 million will be put towards high-speed electric vehicle charging stations, which will allow electric cars to travel the length of the state without exiting to “refuel”. The “e-xpansion” project is part of the Governor’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – 40 percent by 2030.

“New York is a leader in the fight against climate change and by aggressively investing in clean transportation infrastructure, we are taking action to lower our carbon footprint,” Governor Cuomo said. “By investing in the expansion of EV charging stations, this administration is working to reduce gas-powered vehicle emissions while making significant strides to establish a cleaner, greener New York for all.”

This is exciting news for electric car drivers. It’s also welcome news for anyone who was thinking about purchasing an electric car. The investment into clean energy is part of the Governor’s Charge NY 2.0 electric vehicle initiative. The State (the New York State Thruway Authority) has partnered with New York Power Authority to install the fast charging stations at a number of convenient locations along the thruway (over a two year time span). The goal is to have 10,000 charging stations in the state by 2021. That number is currently at 2,000 statewide, with a goal of 3000 by the end of the year. That number is enhanced by a multi-state, zero-emission vehicle plan that calls for electric vehicle sales to reach approximately 800,000 by 2025 in New York.

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast predicts that 54 percent of all car sales by 2040 will be emission free plug-ins.

As part of this coordinated state effort, NYPA, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Thruway Authority, and the State Department of Transportation, recently submitted a request for the PSC (State Public Service Commission) to determine how utilities can help increase electric vehicle penetration in New York State. Cuomo is looking to further reduce costs and rates, which would amplify the number of electric cars on the road. It is anticipated that the enhanced effort would eventually contribute to bringing costs down, as more EVs hit the road. As of 2017, there is also a Drive Clean Rebate program in place – up to $2000 to purchase or lease a new plug-in hybrid or battery electric car from participating new car dealers. That effort has resulted in a 67 percent increase over 2016.

“By expanding the number of charging stations across New York under Governor Cuomo, we are getting closer to meeting our nation-leading goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels,” said Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, New York State. “By ensuring it will be easier and more convenient to charge up the car, we encourage even more New Yorkers to switch to clean and reliable electric vehicles.”

“Newer cars with higher power ratings and larger batteries have made it more realistic for electric car drivers to go on longer trips – and that requires faster chargers,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “Drivers will be able to travel from New York City to Albany to Buffalo and recharge along the way in only 30 minutes, and more commuters will be able to charge their cars at commuter lots when they are at work. We are excited that these additional charging options will encourage more widespread use of electric vehicles and also help further the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Matthew J. Driscoll, Executive Director of the Thruway Authority said, “The New York State Thruway’s 570-mile system is essential to the vitality of our state’s economy by providing safe and reliable travel through the Northeast, and with these additional charging stations, we hope to soon be one of the greenest superhighways in the nation. We are proud to support Governor Cuomo’s mission of getting more electric vehicles on the road through the Charge NY initiative.”

Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “The addition of new charging stations at the Thruway travel plazas and commuter parking lots will enhance the electric vehicle driving experience for the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who have already made EVs their transportation of choice, and for those who are switching to EVs in ever greater numbers. Governor Cuomo’s aggressive agenda to fight climate change includes making clean technologies like EVs more accessible to everyday New Yorkers and this announcement is further evidence of New York’s commitment to making clean transportation choices easier for consumers.”

Learn more about current charging stations along the Thruway, NYPA’s electric vehicle charging station program, and consumer rebates through NYSERDA to help the state drive clean.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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