Metzger bill to accelerate shift to electric vehicles in New York signed into law

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Senator Metzger

ALBANY – Legislation directing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to identify areas across the state where electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure is insufficient and evaluate options for filling the gaps statewide has been signed into law.

The measure was sponsored by Senator Jennifer Metzger (D, Rosendale).
In New York, the number of electric vehicles on the road has risen from 24,551 in 2017 to 36,854 in 2018. New York, however, is not one of the top 10 EV-ownership states and will need to significantly increase ownership in order to meet the state’s goal of getting approximately two million EVs on the road and achieve a 40 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2030 – targets set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, signed into law in July of this year.

“Electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain and operate than gas-powered vehicles and provide a huge opportunity for New York State to significantly reduce carbon emissions,” said Metzger, who drives a fully electric Chevy Bolt. “I’m thrilled that this bill will help the state take the necessary steps forward in increasing EV accessibility. When we passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act this year, we set ambitious but absolutely essential targets to address the climate crisis, and I will continue to advance legislation that will help us meet those goals, including legislation to propel clean transportation forward in New York.”

There are more than 10 million registered vehicles in New York State, but less than one percent are electric vehicles. “Range anxiety,” or the concern that EVs will lose their charge in an area with few publicly available chargers, remains a significant impediment to their widespread adoption, the senator noted.

While there have been efforts by the state to increase the availability of electric vehicle charging stations on highways and at airports, New York still lacks the critical mass of charging stations to make an electric vehicle a realistic option for every New Yorker. Creating an inventory of all the charging stations and EV infrastructure in New York will enable state agencies to identify areas where the EV infrastructure is insufficient and leverage that information to benefit the environmental health of New York State.