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New York plans to support electric vehicles

New York state plans to use $11 million to build the state’s network of fast charging stations to support wider adoption of electric vehicles.

The Direct Current Fast Charger program will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to scale up electric vehicle infrastructure in areas of the state where access to fast charging stations is limited, and will also prioritize improving the availability of charging infrastructure in disadvantaged communities. Increased use of clean transportation supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal for an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 under the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“New York continues to serve as a national model for reducing greenhouse emissions. As part of our efforts, we must ensure all New Yorkers, no matter where they live or their economic status, have access to the infrastructure required for using electric vehicles,” Cuomo said. “This investment will build the infrastructure necessary for empowering more consumers to choose clean, electric transportation options, while making electric vehicles an accessible option for all New Yorkers.”

As part of the state’s $127.7 million allocation of the federal Volkswagen Settlement funds, the initiative builds upon Governor Cuomo’s landmark “Make Ready” announcement in July, which included a suite of major clean transportation initiatives to accelerate New York’s transition to cleaner mobility. It will also address the need to build out a strong network of easily accessible and visible charging stations for consumers in Upstate Regional Economic Development Councils as part of the State’s comprehensive clean transportation strategy.

The Direct Current Fast Charger program will provide up to 80 percent of the cost to build publicly available charging stations for electric vehicles. Funding will be made available in specific REDC regions through two initial rounds, through which charging station developers will be selected to install at least four DCFC stations per site, at four or more site locations. Only one proposal per developer will be awarded for each eligible REDC region under each round, and if funding remains after these two rounds are complete, the program will continue to a third round.

The program requires that at least 25% of the stations be located within half a mile of a disadvantaged community in support of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal of increasing access to clean energy and sustainable infrastructure to all end-users. In addition, developers installing charging stations in rural areas may be eligible to submit proposals under this program that include two different sites, which would support simultaneous charging for two vehicles at each site.

Applicants are encouraged to co-locate Level 2 EV charging stations and distributed energy resources, such as energy storage and solar, with the DCFC chargers. Although not required, proposals with such elements will garner additional points from the review committee. Funding for Level 2 charging stations is available through the Charge NY program while funding for distributed energy resources is available through NYSERDA’s energy storage and solar programs.

Applications for the first round are being accepted through February 18, 2021. The first round focuses on the following Regional Economic Development Councils regions: Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, and Western New York. The second round of funding will launch in July 2021 and includes the eligible Round 1 REDCs plus Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier. If needed, a third round is expected to encompass all areas that were included in the first two rounds.

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