In his quest to help Schenectady modernize its infrastructure, Mayor Gary McCarthy — alongside National Grid and Livingston Energy Group — unveiled the latest installation in the city’s Electric Vehicle Destination Initiative Monday: 10 new electric vehicle charging station ports.
Located on Liberty Street, the station is part of the city’s now 28 charging stations available to the public, with 60 total available throughout the city.
“We picked the spot so it’s convenient for people who might be going to Proctors or many of the venues on State Street, or the restaurants on Union Street,” McCarthy said following Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. “It’s a short block one way or the other. This is also close to City Hall, close to the police station. As we’re looking to add more electric vehicles, this becomes a common spot you can use to charge the vehicles.”
A commercial charging station usually costs between $4,000 and $5,000 per port, according to Jason Zarillo, co-founder of Livingston Energy Group. McCarthy said that, for the city, the ports were “essentially free,” since programs in the state cover up to 100% of new station costs for any commercial, industrial, or municipal customer.
“By expanding its charging network, the city of Schenectady is doubling down on its commitment to sustainability and making the City ever more attractive to a growing number of EV drivers,” Zarillo said. “It also plays into their smart city initiatives well, and we are proud to be working with them on the Connected Community Project to encourage EV adoption and facilitate engagement between EV drivers and local businesses.”
Electricity will be free at the new stations, just as it is at the other public stations, Zarillo said, but drivers will be charged parking at the same rate as other vehicles.
McCarthy — who also hopes to expand the number of electric vehicles in the city’s fleet, of which there are currently six — said the new stations prove that Schenectady is moving forward in a “more sustainable format.”
“We’re looking to reduce carbon emissions and reduce our overall maintenance cost by bringing electric vehicles into the fleet,” McCarthy said. “This also brings people downtown if they have chosen to have an electric vehicle.”