Note—this blog was written in response to the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) July 16th public meeting. All numbers and program information written here are based on the presentation by the Department of Public Service Staff and the questions and comments from the Commissioners. This blog will be updated once the Commission Order has been released and reviewed.
New York State accelerated its commitment to cutting carbon pollution from the transportation sector and improving air quality for all New Yorkers by releasing the final order on a utility-based electric vehicle charging station program, which is anticipated to reap $2.6 billion in net benefits to New Yorkers. This is the biggest move yet by New York State on electrifying transportation.
The Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment and Infrastructure (EVSE&I) Program, with a budget of $701 million—$200 million of which will go towards investments directly in environmental justice and disadvantaged communities—calls upon the six New York investor-owned utilities to cumulatively install 53,773 Level 2 charging stations and 1,500 Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) stations throughout the state by 2025, and expands upon the Department of Public Service (DPS) staff whitepaper that was released in January.
The PSC order takes into account the large number of stakeholder comments and feedback on the whitepaper, including joint comments by NRDC and Sierra Club. The vast majority of the public feedback received supported the program, but recommended modifications to strengthen and improve the program. The result? A stronger, robust make-ready EV program that will support market growth of clean transportation, help ensure low-and moderate-income communities have equitable access to clean transportation and prepare the state for medium-and heavy-duty vehicle electrification.
Expanding the EV Market, with a focus on equity
The order puts a much-needed focus on ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to clean transportation by developing a $85 million competitive program for innovative projects that will increase clean transportation in environmental justice communities. The investment will consider programs such as electric car sharing and ride sharing, something that was recommended specifically by NRDC and Sierra Club, and ways to increase the sale and use of electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses with zero tailpipe pollution.
The PSC order also includes a $15 million program to accelerate the build out of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle charging stations. This is timely, considering earlier this week, New York joined 14 other states by committing to zero-out toxic air pollution from commercial truck and transit bus sales by 2050.
The EVSE&I program sets the state up to achieve its zero-emission vehicle goals, while also improving air quality and ensuring benefits for all New Yorkers, but there is still work that needs to be done. We’re hopeful that this program is just the (very impressive) start of a continued focus and commitment to transportation electrification in the Empire State.