The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that Tompkins County has installed 11 new electric vehicle charging stations to support its goal of becoming the first Electric Vehicle Model County in New York State. The installations are part of the state’s Electric Vehicle Accelerator initiative, a pilot project to help municipalities become models for electric vehicle use and supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030.
Tompkins County is in the west central part of New York State; the county seat is Ithaca.
Administered by NYSERDA, the Electric Vehicle Accelerator initiative was created to help municipalities build electric vehicle ecosystems. Tompkins County is the second municipality to participate after the City of Rochester launched its pilot last year. Both are partnering with local organizations and businesses as part of the project.
Now that the installations are complete, Tompkins County moves into the next phase of the pilot with the local partnership disseminating information about electric vehicles at local events, hosting ride and drives, and meeting with officials from municipalities to discuss electric vehicle-friendly policies.
The Electric Vehicle Accelerator is part of New York State’s overall clean transportation strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and supports Governor Cuomo’s Charge NY 2.0 initiative to make at least 10,000 charging stations available by the end of 2021.
Recently, the Governor announced a $4.2-million expansion plan to install more high-speed electric vehicle charging stations along the New York State Thruway. The plan will allow electric car owners to drive the length of the state without having to exit to recharge. As of 31 December 2017, there were more than 2,200 charging stations installed statewide.
NYSERDA, the New York Power Authority, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Thruway Authority, the Department of Transportation, and New York State Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation, along with other state agency and private partners are working together to implement infrastructure improvements and consumer focused programs to help more New Yorkers drive zero-emissions vehicles.
To further these efforts, in May Governor Cuomo announced a $250-million electric vehicle expansion initiative with New York Power Authority (NYPA)—dubbed EVolve NY—that will seek to create public-private sector partnerships to more aggressively accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles throughout New York State. An initial $40 million will go toward installing fast chargers along key interstate corridors, creating new New York City airport charging hubs, and establishing more electric vehicle-friendly model communities to encourage residents to transition to driving electric vehicles.
In addition, to make electric vehicles even more affordable and accessible, Governor Cuomo launched the state’s Drive Clean Rebate program in March 2017. Administered by NYSERDA, the program provides residents with a rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase or lease of a new plug-in hybrid or battery electric car from participating new car dealers. As a result of this initiative, more than 10,000 electric cars were sold in 2017, a 67% increase over 2016.
In the past year, the state has also provided incentives for employers to encourage employees to drive electric vehicles, installed charging stations in public areas, and made $2.2 million available from the Environmental Protection Fund in rebates for municipalities to purchase or lease electric (plug-in hybrid or battery) or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for municipal fleet use, and for the installation of public charging or fuel cell refueling infrastructure.