ALBANY, New York, March 11, 2017 (ENS) – To promote electric vehicle use across New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a new campaign that includes the installation of charging stations, incentives for employers to encourage employees to drive electric vehicles and extensive public education and outreach.

Transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, accounting for nearly 40 percent of heat-trapping emissions. The increased use of electric vehicles will help the state in achieving its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, the governor said.

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Electric Nissan LEAF on New York’s Cross Island Parkway (Photo by Vetatur Fumare)

“This multi-pronged campaign will help in this administration’s efforts to fight climate change, strengthen infrastructure to support the use of electric cars, and help reduce New York’s carbon footprint on our roadways,” Governor Cuomo said. “With these actions, we are taking another step toward a cleaner, greener and more sustainable New York for all.”

Work on the projects will start immediately and will include the installation of 450 charging stations across the state.

Of these, 150 will be located at workplaces throughout New York, supporting Governor Cuomo’s State of the State proposal for the construction of 500 new workplace charging stations.

The units will be installed in Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, Utica, Albany, the Hudson Valley, Westchester County, New York City and Long Island.

“I’m pleased with the progress we’re making in the energy sector but we can’t cut greenhouse gases and reach our emissions reduction goals without also making inroads in the transportation sector,” said Richard Kauffman, chairman of energy and finance for New York. “State-wide campaigns to promote the use of electric vehicles will go far to help New York reach its emissions reductions goals and combat climate change.”

The campaign supports the Governor’s Charge NY initiative. More than 1,600 electric vehicle charging stations have already been installed toward Charge NY’s goal of 3,000 charging stations by 2018.

The new effort will be overseen by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, NYSERDA.

John Rhodes, president and chief executive of NYSERDA, said, “This comprehensive campaign will help New York meet Governor Cuomo’s clean transportation goals and reduce our carbon footprint. Each project is vital to the success of New York’s nation-leading energy strategy, so we can ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for all New Yorkers.”

Additional projects in this campaign include:

* – Working with New York City-area public and private employers to create an incentive program for their employees to encourage them to buy electric vehicles;

* – Conducting outreach to employers statewide to educate them on the benefits of providing workplace charging stations for their employees;

* – Hosting public test drive and ride events;

* – Providing innovative financing to make installing charging stations more economically viable for site owners;

* – Developing tourism routes for electric vehicle owners that will highlight charging station locations in the Mid-Hudson Valley, including in the Catskill Mountains, already a tourist destination.

The city of Rochester, in Upstate New York, will launch a pilot program to become an electric vehicle model city. The goal is to demonstrate how developing an electric vehicle ecosystem can increase electric vehicle adoption and prepare a community for long-term electric vehicle growth.

The city will add electric vehicles to the city fleet, install charging stations, create a speaker’s bureau for community events and enable training for local car dealerships.

All these projects will be managed by three contractors – EV Connect, Energetics and Calstart – for a total of $4.8 million.

The campaign continues Governor Cuomo’s support for growing the number of electric vehicles in New York State.

Last fall, Cuomo announced $3 million for rebates through the Environmental Protection Fund for municipalities to purchase or lease zero-emission vehicles, such as battery electric and hydrogen vehicles, for their fleets.

The governor has also announced the availability of another $3 million to help eligible municipalities and rural electricity cooperatives purchase electric vehicles for use in their municipal use fleets.

By no means are all states that once supported electric cars with financial incentives continuing to do so now.

In an overview Saturday, the “New York Times” documented many states that have withdrawn their support for electric cars.

Georgia repealed its $5,000 tax credit on electric vehicles in July 2015, and place a $200 registration fee on electric cars. EV sales went from nearly 1,300 electric vehicles to just 97 cars in a matter of months.

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Electric car charges up while driver is shopping at the King of Prussia Mall, Pennsylvania March 6, 2016 (Photo by Montgomery County Planning Commission)

In Colorado, a bill that would end income tax credits for owners of electric and alternative-fuel vehicles is working its way through the legislature. In Utah, lawmakers voted this month against extending the state’s tax credit for electric cars.

Illinois, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, have let their EV incentives expire, bringing down to 16 from 25 the number of states that offer financial support for buyers of electric vehicles.

Since the start of 2017, the nonprofit EV advocacy group Plug in America has been alerted to a number of bills in states that would impose road usage fees for EVs.

At a time when EVs are starting to gain more traction among all consumers, and more states are considering supportive policies such as purchase incentives, car pool stickers, and charging station rebates to increase adoption, it is frustrating to EV advocates to have to address road blocks like fees.

Legislators in Oklahoma are looking at fees of at least $100 a year. The California Assembly is considering a $165 yearly car registration fee on zero-emissions vehicles.

In Indiana, a bill that would establish a $150 annual fee for EV owners was introduced in January. A similar bill has been presented in Kansas, and Montana is debating a $300 fee.

Plug in America’s Katherine Stainken calls these fees, “…annoying thorns in advocates’ sides, yet, if left unaddressed, could cause some serious damage to EV adoption.”

But on the bright side, says Stainken, “these road fees are our wake up call. We anticipated that getting to mass deployment of EVs on the road would involve some battles, and now we know that those battles are here. EVs are now perceived as a legitimate threat to the status quo.”

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2017. All rights reserved.