Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., has announced a $4.2 million expansion plan to install more high-speed electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along the New York State Thruway, a system of limited-access highways throughout the state.
According to the governor, the plan will allow EV owners to drive the length of the state without having to exit to recharge. Furthermore, the fast-charging station expansion aims to enable more New Yorkers to take an active role in Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 40% 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,” Cuomo says. “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.”
As part of the governor’s Charge NY 2.0 EV initiative, the New York State Thruway Authority is partnering with the New York Power Authority to install the new fast-charging stations at Thruway service areas and Thruway-owned commuter parking lots over the next two years. The initiative will help the state achieve its goal of installing 10,000 charging stations by 2021 and further the governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision to build a cleaner and greener New York.
Since Charge NY was launched in 2013, the number of public charging stations has grown to more than 2,000 statewide. Now, this new expansion plan puts New York within reach of the governor’s 2018 goal of 3,000 charging stations across the state. The additional charging stations and associated signage are also expected to build awareness about the benefits of EVs, according to the governor.
The new installations are an expansion of a trial program that brought fast chargers to four Mid-Hudson Valley service areas – Plattekill and Malden on the northbound Thruway and Ulster and Modena on its southbound side, all in Ulster County. Over the next several years, chargers will be installed at the remaining 23 service areas.
The first phase of the EV charger expansion project involves installing two medium-speed (Level 2) charging stations at 13 Thruway-owned commuter parking lots. The Level 2 chargers, which take four to eight hours to charge, are geared toward commuters who are able to leave their cars parked during the day.
This phase also will bring higher-speed (Level 3) fast chargers to nine Thruway service areas to accommodate a wide variety of EVs. Level 3 chargers can fully charge an EV in 30 minutes or less.
In another action intended to further encourage EV adoption, Cuomo has announced that the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) launched a new initiative to accelerate EV usage, expand the number of EV charging stations and determine how utilities can help increase EV penetration in New York State. The PSC will consider the electric utilities’ role in providing infrastructure and rate design to accommodate the needs and electricity demand of EVs. It will also explore cost-effective ways to build such infrastructure and equipment and determine whether utility tariff changes will be needed in addition to those already being considered for residential customers.
As part of this coordinated state effort, the New York Power Authority, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, the Thruway Authority, and the state’s Department of Transportation recently submitted a request for the PSC to timely modify electric rates for electricity customers that install fast chargers for EV recharging. Eventually, the proposed rate adjustment, increased adoption of EVs, and increased home and workplace charging could increase revenue to operate and maintain the transmission and distribution system, allowing for a longer-term reduction in electricity rates for all ratepayers.
Matthew J. Driscoll, executive director of the Thruway Authority, says, “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.”