Saratoga Springs

State power authority brings ‘fast’ electric vehicle charging station to Spa City

The New York Power Authority installed the first fast-charging EV chargers at Saratoga Springs City Center on  Friday.

The New York Power Authority installed the first fast-charging EV chargers at Saratoga Springs City Center on  Friday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Owners of electric vehicles who desire substantially faster charging times have been “filling up” near the City Center.

Four new EV charging stations that were installed by the New York Power Authority have been well-used since they were made available to the public in recent weeks, officials said at a press event Friday.

They are located in the outdoor portion of the City Center parking lot adjacent to Maple Street, at the north end of Broadway.

“It’s a great location because folks that are coming in for the racetrack or for events at the City Center, or just for downtown Saratoga can charge up on their way out,” said Jim Bright, senior project engineer, for the authority.

“And we’re opening quite a few stations throughout December, [with] over 50 charging now, and there will be another 30 to 40 coming online in the next few weeks,” Bright said.

Ryan McMahon, executive director of the Saratoga Springs City Center, said: 

“The Saratoga Springs City Center is thrilled to be partnering with the New York Power Authority and the city of Saratoga Springs to help bring more charging accessibility to the region. Since the machines have gone live, I have seen vehicles charging almost every day and that is before the official notification went out. Saratoga Springs hosts many visitors each year and adding more green alternatives is important to our residents and guests.” 

The addition of the stations is in line with both state and national goals.

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation setting a goal for all new passenger cars and trucks sold in New York to be zero-emissions by 2035. 

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden’s administration unveiled a federal strategy to reduce the cost of electric cars that includes 500,000 new charging stations, electric-friendly highways and domestic battery sourcing.

The $1 trillion infrastructure law the president signed in November authorizes a nationwide network of charging stations and sets aside $5 billion for states to build them.

“The future of transportation in our nation and around the world is electric,” Vice President Kamala Harris said at an EV charging facility in Maryland.

Three of the Saratoga Springs charging stations are 150 kilowatts, while the other is 350 kilowatts, which is capable of charging a compatible vehicle at speeds up to 20 miles per minute, officials said.

The city has about 100 public “Level 2” chargers that are used for charging during a longer stop. But these are the first fast chargers in the city, Alex Chiaravalie, a spokesman for the New York Power Authority said. 

The cost to install them was $800,000, including ongoing multi-year costs such as extended warranties and internet connection, Chiaravalie said.

National Grid supports New York’s “EVolve program” by contributing more than $2 million to the states’ goal of making 800 new EV fast charging stations available by 2025, according to Laurie Poltynski, National Grid regional director.

The EVolve NY charging infrastructure was funded by the NYPA, including an additional $40 million approved by the authority’s board of directors.

Instead of using tax money, the authority finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenue earned in large part through electricity sales, Chiaravalie said.

The state has clean energy goals of helping decarbonize the transportation sector and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050. The stations are expected to advance that goal.

NYPA has installed 52 chargers at 14 sites across the state since fall 2020.

Thirteen miles to the north, four additional chargers have been installed at the Stewart’s Shop located at 1311 Route 9 in Moreau. 

Elsewhere in the region, Schenectady has been billed a “destination for EVs,” with 28 free-of-use charging stations, part of more than 60 charging stations available in the Electric City.

There’s also the Capital District EV Drivers Group, somewhat of an underground group of electric vehicle enthusiasts.

Contact reporter Brian Lee at [email protected] or 518-419-9766.

Categories: Saratoga County

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