New York state hopes to spur electric car sales with a fresh package of incentives that includes new charging stations and continuation of purchase rebates for car buyers. Promoting electric cars is part of an overall effort by New York to reduce carbon emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2030.
The most significant addition to the program of incentives, dubbed EVolve NY, is the plan for more charging stations. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will install 200 150-kilowatt DC fast-charging stations at 32 locations along heavily trafficked corridors, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) said in a press release.
Charging sites will be spaced at an average of 75 miles apart. Beginning in 2019, NYPA plans to begin installing stations in locations ranging from Long Island to Buffalo in the west, and in the North Country near the Canadian border. The goal is to have enough coverage so that electric car drivers will be able to travel easily throughout the state. Most sites will get four charging stations, but a hub at New York City’s John F. Kennedy airport will get 10 stations. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hopes to have 10,000 charging stations in operation by 2021.
Public charging stations are only one side of the coin, however. Many electric car owners do most of their charging at home, and New York wants to help them out, too. The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) will monitor time-of-use rates to ensure owners who charge their cars during off-peak hours don’t pay more than standard rates. Off-peak charging is beneficial for grid infrastructure because it shifts the load of charging electric cars to less-busy time periods.
New York is one of several states that offers purchase incentives for electric cars, on top of the $7,500 federal tax credit. Residents can get up to $2,000 for purchasing or leasing a new electric car. The state claims to have already approved more than 11,000 rebates, equating to more than $15 million.
State-level incentives and expansion of charging infrastructure should help encourage more people to buy EVs and will become more important if the federal government withdraws its support for electric cars—but New York could go a step further. While the Empire State has adopted California’s stricter emissions standards, it hasn’t adopted the state’s zero-emission vehicle mandate, which requires all automakers to sell battery-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars.