New York Governor Announces Initiatives to Fight Climate Change Including Expanding EV Use

In an announcement late Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo reported that New York State will spend $701 million for EV infrastructure and other initiatives in the “EV Made Ready” program. The program aims to install 53,773 Level 2 plugs and 1,500 direct current fast charging plugs.

“New York is leading the nation in efforts to combat climate change and reimagine our power systems with innovative clean energy policies and now we are taking major steps to decarbonize vehicles, including light and heavy-duty trucks and buses,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through initiatives like the ‘EV Make Ready’ program, we are building out the infrastructure that is necessary to support the electrification of our transportation sector, while ensuring that every New Yorker can share in the benefits of this transition including cleaner air and new, well-paying jobs.”

$206 million will be set aside to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities including $85 million to fund 3 innovative clean transport prize competitions:
– The Environmental Justice Community Clean Vehicles Transformation Prize, a $40 million program focused on reducing harmful air pollution in frontline communities and creating transportation “green zones” across New York State
– The Clean Personal Mobility Prize, a $25 million program soliciting innovative approaches that enable access to clean transport services for disadvantaged and underserved communities
– The Clean Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Innovation Prize, a $20 million program designed to prove out innovative and high-impact approaches to medium- and heavy-duty electrification that can be replicated at scale

The program will be funded by investor-owned utilities in New York State. It will create a cost-sharing program that incentivizes utilities and charging station developers to place electric vehicle charging infrastructure in locations that will provide a maximal benefit to consumers.

In addition to the Make Ready funding from investor-owned utilities, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is allocating $48.8 million to pay for charging stations and electric school and transit buses. The $48.8 million comes from a 2017 settlement with Volkswagen over its diesel emissions cheating scandal.

It was announced on Tuesday that New York and Washington, D.C. are in collaboration with 14 other states to ensure 100% of new medium and heavy-duty vehicle sales net zero by 2050.  The two states are joined by California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Cuomo’s Charge NY goal aims for 10,000 EV charging stations by the end of 2021 and 850,000 zero emission vehicles by 2025. More than 25,000 EVs have been purchased since June thanks to $35 million in rebates under the New York State Energy Research Authority Drive Clean Rebate Program.

Commission Chair John B. Rhodes said, “We can and must rapidly electrify our transportation system in order to achieve a carbon-neutral economy, under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership. With these smart investments, we dramatically increase the number of centrally located and easily accessible charging stations, benefiting electric customers and reducing barriers to clean transportation for all New Yorkers.” 

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