AMSTERDAM — The state’s “if you build it they will come” approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the transition to electric vehicles took a step forward in the city this week with the unveiling of a pair of fast charging stations in downtown.
“New York continues to be a national leader in growing the utilization of electric vehicles, and placing charging stations throughout the state will allow more people to recognize the benefits of tying clean transportation initiatives to efforts that bolster economic activity in our downtowns,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a prepared statement.
The fast charging stations in the rear of the municipal parking lot on Church Street shared by the Amsterdam Free Library and post office unveiled on Monday were the first of five hubs to be installed across the state in communities awarded the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative as part of a collaboration by the New York Power Authority and Department of State.
“Providing fast charging options in our state’s downtowns will make it easier for residents to help reduce emissions from the transportation sector and for municipalities to contribute to the advancement of the state’s ambitious climate action goals,” NYPA Interim President and CEO Justin Driscoll said in a prepared statement.
The location in the heart of Amsterdam centrally located off of the Thruway is the 10th addition to NYPA’s EVolveNY fast charging network aimed at providing open access to high-speed charging stations in key locations along travel routes and in urban areas to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. The statewide network currently has nearly 40 charging units.
The fast chargers can be used by any make or model of electric vehicle and can recharge most battery capacity to a vehicle in as little as 20 minutes. NYPA funded the installation and will own and operate the chargers that cost 35 cents per kilowatt hour plus tax to use. The cost for an average charge is estimated at about $16.
Mayor Michael Cinquanti on Tuesday said the new fast charging stations compliment the city’s existing suite of 25 electric vehicle charging stations located at public parks and facilities across the city.
“We want more people to buy electric vehicles and they will when they know they can go anywhere in the city or the state and get a charge very conveniently,” Cinquanti said. “We’re really positioned well for what is coming.”
Although he did not have exact figures, Cinqaunti acknowledged the existing charging stations in the city do not currently see much use. Building out the infrastructure to support electric vehicles is essential, he said, hoping the city will host additional charging stations in the future.
“That’s how electric vehicles are going to become viable. The more we provide, the more they’re going to be around,” Cinqaunti said.
The state has been investing in efforts to electrify the transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Hochul recently signed legislation setting a goal for all passenger cars and trucks sold in the state to be zero-emission by 2035.
To support that goal, NYPA’s EVolve NY initiative plans to install up to 100 chargers across the state by the end of the current year, which would create the third largest fast charging network in the country.
Once the network comes online, residents and visitors driving electric vehicles will be able to find fast charging stations every 50 miles or less across the state. Over 100,000 electric vehicles have already been sold statewide. Ongoing programs and initiatives are designed to get 850,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.
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