Weekly Feature

2018-02-07 / Local News

State officials seek to accelerate green technologies

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in December said up to $3.5 million will be available for innovative research and development proposals to accelerate the use of electric vehicles, reduce the cost of installing and operating charging stations, and provide recommendations on how they can be used for grid resiliency.

According to officials from the Governor’s Office, the investment and efforts to increase the use of electric vehicles support the governor’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

“Clean cars are the way of the future, and with a tremendous increase in the number of electric vehicles sold this year, it is clear New Yorkers support efforts to combat climate change,” Cuomo said. “Innovation is what drives New York, and we are proud to incentivize the development of improved technologies that will create a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future for all.”

Lt. Gov. Kathleen Hochul said the state’s funding commitment for research and development will help expand electric vehicle use and provide consumers with vehicle options that are both economically and environmentally conscious.

“The increased use of electric cars will play a critical role in helping New York achieve Gov. Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” she said.

Governor’s Office representatives said the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will administer the solicitation, which is seeking proposals for research projects that show the potential impact of electric vehicles on job growth, technical advances and the overall economy.

An area of particular interest includes proposals for innovative business models and technologies to better manage the relationship between electric vehicles and the electric grid.

For example, proposals could focus on:

How to reduce the impact of charging vehicles on the grid;

How vehicles can be integrated into buildings to provide backup power; or

How to remotely manage electric vehicle charging at peak times.

Currently, electric vehicles use power from the grid to charge. However, fully charged vehicles can also return power to the grid, which can help provide resiliency during power outages or during peak times, such as hot summer days.

Officials in the Governor’s Office said the transportation sector is responsible for 40 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in New York state.

Compared to gasoline-powered cars, electric cars are more energy-efficient and cost about 50 percent to 70 percent less to operate per mile. As a result, New York is taking a broad approach to accelerating electric vehicle market growth.

In 2017, Cuomo announced the Drive Clean Rebate, a $70 million rebate and outreach initiative to encourage the growth of clean and nonpolluting electric car use in New York and promote the reduction of carbon emissions in the transportation sector.

The initiative has already provided more than $3 million in rebates to New Yorkers for the purchase or lease of electric vehicles. For the first three months following the launch of the Drive Clean Rebate, New York saw electric vehicle sales increase 61 percent over the same time period last year.

The state also launched a new electric vehicle campaign that includes the installation of charging stations and incentives for employers to encourage employees to drive electric vehicles, as well as the installation of charging stations along the New York State Thruway.

In addition, the governor announced the availability of $2.2 million from the Environmental Protection Fund in rebates for municipalities to purchase or lease electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for municipal fleet use, and for installation of public charging or fuel cell refueling infrastructure.

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