New York State launches new clean transportation initiatives

Published on July 20, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched several clean transportation initiatives last week.

One of them is the EV Make-Ready Program, which creates a cost-sharing program that incentivizes utilities and charging station developers to site electric vehicle charging infrastructure in places that will provide a maximal benefit to consumers. Investor-owned utilities in New York State will fund the program. The plan was approved by the state Public Service Commission, which capped the total budget at $701 million. It will run through 2025.

“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,” 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.”

Part of the EV Make-Ready budget, $85 million to be exact, will go toward competitions designed to directly address emissions, equity, and electrification in communities. Three prize areas will focus on supporting clean transportation options that benefit lower socio-economic and environmental justice communities. The prizes are the Environmental Justice Community Clean Vehicles Transformation Prize, the Clean Personal Mobility Prize, and the Clean Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Innovation Prize.

The initiative is part of a statewide effort to reduce carbon emissions by 85 percent by 2050. The transportation sector is responsible for the largest contribution to greenhouse gas pollution. The development of charging infrastructure will provide New Yorkers with more than $2.6 billion in net benefits.

Also, the Long Island Power Authority, with its service provider, PSEG Long Island, established a goal of having 180,000 new EVs on Long Island with 4,650 new EV charging ports by 2025.

In addition, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is allocating $48.8 million from the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement to invest in the EV infrastructure, clean public transportation and transit options, and electric school buses.

Specifically, the funding will be used to install 50,000 Level 2 charging plugs, capable of charging a vehicle at least two times faster than a standard wall outlet, and 1,500 public direct current fast charger stations.

“We can and must rapidly electrify our transportation system in order to achieve a carbon-neutral economy, under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership,” PSC Chair John Rhodes said. “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.”