Rochester Takes Action to Become New York’s EV ‘Model City’


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Electrification Coalition, and Energetics Inc. have announced that the City of Rochester and five organizations have signed a pledge to increase access to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for their employees.

The pledges are part of the Rochester Electric Vehicle Accelerator initiative, a pilot project launched last spring to assist the city with becoming the state’s first “electric vehicle model city,” the partners explain. The five participating organizations are Dixon Schwabl, Larsen Engineers, Nazareth College, Rochester Institute of Technology and SunCommon NY.

The Rochester Electric Vehicle Accelerator, supported by NYSERDA, is being led by the Electrification Coalition in collaboration with the City of Rochester, Genesee Region Clean Communities and Energetics. The goal is to demonstrate how the development of a full EV ecosystem approach can increase EV adoption and prepare a community for long-term EV growth.

Since the initiative was launched, Rochester has purchased six EVs to add to the four it already had in its fleet. The partnership has also hosted 300 EV test drives for consumers, participated in more than a dozen festival and outreach events, and is currently identifying potential sites for charging stations throughout the city to be installed later this year.

“By increasing the number of charging stations at workplaces, local organizations are making it clear they want to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and make their local communities healthier,” comments Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA.

“Since the initiative was launched, we have had the opportunity to work with an amazing collection of partners throughout the Greater Rochester region to accelerate the adoption of EVs in this community,” adds Ben Prochazka, vice president of the Electrification Coalition. “The outpouring of support by the chamber, the city and now these six local businesses in Greater Rochester is a true testament of the community’s commitment to increased EV adoption throughout the region.”

As part of the pilot, a Workplace Charging Challenge Pledge was created for local organizations. By signing the pledge, organizations agree to conduct assessment surveys and develop site plans to determine their needs and potential locations for EV charging stations. Combined, these organizations already have about 30 charging stations available for their employees (with the city providing 12 public charging stations).

The Rochester Electric Vehicle Accelerator also supports New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 40% by 2030 and complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s economic blueprint aimed at attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation.

To further encourage and support EV adoption, Cuomo recently announced in his State of the State proposal a goal to increase the number of charging stations across New York by the end of 2021. Under the governor’s Charge NY 2.0 initiative, at least 10,000 charging stations will be made available, and the state will expand clean fuel corridors so that clean cars can travel throughout New York’s interstate system and recharge at convenient locations.

Charge NY aims to have 30,000-40,000 EVs on the road by the end of 2018. New York has already met this target, having sold more than 30,000 electric cars as of the end of November 2017. In addition, the number of public charging stations has grown from about 500 in 2011 to almost 2,000 statewide.

Furthermore, the Drive Clean Rebate is a $70 million electric car rebate and outreach initiative to encourage the growth of EV use in New York and promote the reduction of carbon emissions in the transportation sector. The goal is to provide rebates to consumers over the next few years to increase sales and leases and build market momentum – in turn, driving down vehicle prices for consumers.

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