New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a package of major clean transportation initiatives, including a “Make Ready” order approved by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to advance New York’s commitment to accelerate its transition to cleaner mobility.
The EV Make-Ready Program will be funded by investor-owned utilities in New York State. It 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.
The PSC order caps the total budget at $701 million and will run through 2025, with $206 million allocated toward equitable access and benefits for lower-socio-economic and disadvantaged communities which will also be eligible for a higher incentive supporting up to 100% of the costs to make a site ready for EV charging.
The Long Island Power Authority, with its service provider, PSEG Long Island also announced a goal to support 180,000 new EVs on Long Island with 4,650 new EV charging ports by 2025, beginning with a proposed 2021 investment of $4.4 million in make-ready infrastructure.
In addition to the Make Ready funding from investor-owned utilities, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is allocating $48.8 million from the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement to transit bus and school bus operators and EV charging station owners to advance local growth of electric vehicle infrastructure, clean public transportation and transit options, and electric school buses.
The PSC action will provide funding for the infrastructure required to support more than 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 in New York in recognition of the essential role that public fast-charging stations will play in the near term to allay range anxiety. Encouraging private investment in publicly accessible fast-charging stations will stimulate the EV market in New York over the coming years.
The work to implement the program will primarily be undertaken by the State’s investor-owned utilities.
As part of the Governor’s State of the State commitment to electrify transit buses for five major transit operators across the state, the New York Power Authority and NYSERDA will partner with these transit operators and provide up to $1 million to study the challenges of zero-emissions bus fleets and identify solutions for electrification including bus options, charging needs and other logistical challenges.
To further accelerate the electrification of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle fleets and in support of the multi-state medium- and heavy-duty transportation electrification MOU announced this week (earlier post), the Commission has also directed the utilities to create a Fleet Assessment Service that includes site feasibility and rate analysis, to aide fleet owners in identifying cost- and time- saving synergies.
The deployment of charging infrastructure that will occur under the order will enable access to public charging for EV adopters, which coupled with innovative rate designs for home charging to promote off-peak charging will maximize utility system efficiency. The need to make rate design modifications will be reviewed as the EV initiative moves forward.
In addition to the initiatives to electrify vehicles and truck fleets benefiting environmental justice and disadvantaged communities, the Commission has also directed NYSERDA to propose an integrated competition, with up to $85 million of the EV Make Ready total budget, designed to directly address emissions, equity and electrification in communities near high-density and congested streets and public highways. Three prize areas will focus on supporting clean transportation options which benefit lower socio-economic and environmental justice communities:
- 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 and high impact approaches that enable access to clean transportation services for disadvantaged and underserved communities; and
- The Clean Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Innovation Prize, a $20-million program designed to achieve direct benefits; allow concrete investigation of opportunities, costs, and benefits; and prove out innovative and high-impact approaches to medium- and heavy-duty electrification that can be replicated at scale, including for “last-mile” solutions, one of the fastest growing emissions sources in this class of vehicles.
As part of the state’s commitment to EV infrastructure, the New York State Department of State is collaborating with the New York Power Authority to significantly expand deployment of DC fast chargers in downtown communities through the Governor’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. DOS and NYPA will work with local governments and key stakeholders to identify communities participating in the DRI that may be interested in hosting public fast chargers. The first downtown chargers will be installed through this program fall of 2021. In addition, through its EVolve NY initiative, NYPA has recently installed two new DC fast charger stations in key Mid-Hudson locations and is working with the New York State Thruway to upgrade its plaza charging stations.