CAPITAL REGION -- There are more than 2,000 primarily electric vehicles on the road in the Capital Region, according to a report released by state officials on Friday.
They announced that Capital Region residents were issued 2,129 rebates for the purchase of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles under the state's Drive Clean Rebate Initiative -- about 10 percent of all the nearly 21,000 rebates the state has issued. The Capital Region trailed only Long Island, the mid-Hudson Valley and New York City.
The announcement follows on the heels of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's call during last week's State of the State speech for the state to develop new EV charging infrastructure. Charging stations are becoming more common; the town of Glenville recently added a charging station at the Town Hall complex.
"Accelerating electric vehicle ownership is a key component of New York's nation-leading plan to fight clime change and grow our clean energy economy," Cuomo said. "The Make Ready initiative will direct the state's utilities to build the grid infrastructure needed to enable the installation of publicly accessible chargers, encouraging more New Yorkers to choose electric vehicles while creating jobs and ensuring our energy dollars stay in-state."
The state is planning to use some of the $127.7 million it received from the 2017 Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating settlement to pay for charging infrastructure.
The state has set the goal of having 850,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by the end of 2025. The state says 45,000 primarily electric vehicles have been sold in the state since 2013.
"We have already approved more than 20,000 rebates under the Drive Clean Rebate program making it clear that the state is laser focused on providing residents with affordable clean energy solutions that will reduce emissions, safeguard our environment and ensure cleaner communities," said Alicia Barton, president of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
The EVolve NY initiative, administered by the New York Power Authority, has committed $250 million to expand public fast charging stations along key transit corridors, creating new charging hubs in major cities and airports, and establishing electric vehicle-friendly model communities. Albany is among the cities targeted for expanded charging infrastructure.
Last week, the Capital District Transportation Authority became the first upstate transit authority to put all-electric buses on the road.