Over $31 million in funding available to expand electric vehicle usage in North Country
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 8:51 am

New York is making up to $31.6 million available to ramp-up the expansion of electric vehicle fast charging stations to serve the future electric vehicle market across St. Lawrence and the rest of New York state.

The plan approved by the New York State Public Service Commission will leverage existing New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and New York Power Authority funds to spur the private-sector development of much-needed fast-charging infrastructure to support the goal of 800,000 zero-emission vehicles in New York by 2025 — representing nearly one out of every ten vehicles on the road, said a press release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Under this plan, nearly 1,075 new, publicly accessible fast-charging stations will be eligible for annual incentives with a maximum statewide cost of $31.6 million. These fast-charging stations will provide greater convenience for EV owners and will be able to charge a long-range EV in 20 minutes as compared to the 20 hours using a typical home charger, or 4 to 8 hours using a level-two charger.

The transportation sector is one of the largest producers of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in New York. Governor Cuomo's Charge NY initiative seeks to reduce these emissions by expanding the number of electric vehicles and charging stations through multiple programs administered by NYSERDA, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York Power Authority, and the Thruway Authority. Compared to gasoline-powered cars, electric cars are more energy efficient and cost about 50 to 70 percent less to operate per mile.

New York's EV market is rapidly expanding, the release said. EV sales were up 50 percent in 2018 and are rapidly gaining market share. From 2010 through October 2018, more than 43,000 EVs were sold in New York State. About 33 percent of those EVs are battery-electric vehicles, the other 67 percent are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

The action to add 1,075 new fast charging stations to be developed under the initiative announced today recognizes the essential role that public fast charging stations will play in the near term to allay "range anxiety." Leveraging public resources with private investment for the development of publicly accessible fast charging stations will have the virtuous effect of stimulating the EV market in New York over the coming years.