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The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that Tompkins County has installed 11 new electric vehicle charging stations to support its goal of becoming the first Electric Vehicle Model County in New York State. The installations are part of the state’s Electric Vehicle Accelerator initiative, a pilot project to help municipalities become models for electric vehicle use and supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “With every new electric vehicle charging station installed, New Yorkers are finding it easier than ever to drive clean and drive electric. I congratulate Tompkins County for being a leader in making electric vehicles a cornerstone of their efforts to fight climate change and commend the County for joining Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions across New York.”

Administered by NYSERDA, the Electric Vehicle Accelerator initiative was created to help municipalities build electric vehicle ecosystems. Tompkins County is the second municipality to participate after the City of Rochester launched its pilot last year. Both are partnering with local organizations and businesses as part of the project.

Tompkins County’s electric vehicle charging stations are located in public parking areas at the following locations:

Cayuga Street Garage (Allpro #301) 235 South Cayuga Street, Ithaca

Brooktondale Community Center 524 Valley Road, Brooktondale

Caroline Town Hall 2670 Slaterville Road, Slaterville Springs

Cornell University – Forest Home Garage 37 Forest Home Drive, Ithaca

Dryden Road Garage 114 Dryden Road, Ithaca

Ithaca College – Visitors Lot 953 Danby Road, Ithaca

HOLT Architects 619 W. State Street, Ithaca

Sciencenter Ithaca 601 First Street, Ithaca

Seneca Street Garage 202 E. Seneca Street, Ithaca

Taughannock Falls State Park 2221 Taughannock Park Road, Trumansburg

Ulysses Town Hall 10 Elm Street, Trumansburg

Now that the installations are complete, Tompkins County moves into the next phase of the pilot with the local partnership disseminating information about electric vehicles at local events, hosting ride and drives, and meeting with officials from municipalities to discuss electric vehicle-friendly policies.

The Electric Vehicle Accelerator in Rochester launched its pilot in 2017. Since then, this partnership has facilitated more than 400 electric vehicle test drives for consumers, participated in more than two dozen festival and outreach events, and secured commitments from ten organizations who have pledged to increase access to electric vehicle charging stations for their employees through the Workplace Charging Challenge.

“With the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, State Parks are committed to making our state parks more sustainable and efficient by modernizing our facilities across the state and reducing our greenhouse emissions,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “I applaud Tompkins County for taking on this electric vehicle initiative and continuing the momentum of Governor Cuomo’s ambitious clean energy goals.”

The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. Compared to gasoline-powered cars, electric cars are more energy efficient and cost about 50 to 70 percent less to operate per mile.

The Electric Vehicle Accelerator is part of New York State’s overall clean transportation strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and supports Governor Cuomo’s Charge NY 2.0 initiative to make at least 10,000 charging stations available by the end of 2021.

Recently, the Governor announced a $4.2 million expansion plan to install more high-speed electric vehicle charging stations along the New York State Thruway. The plan will allow electric car owners to drive the length of the state without having to exit to recharge. As of December 31, 2017, there were more than 2,200 charging stations installed statewide.

NYSERDA, the New York Power Authority, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Thruway Authority, the Department of Transportation, and New York State Office of Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation, along with other state agency and private partners are working together to implement infrastructure improvements and consumer focused programs to help more New Yorkers drive zero-emissions vehicles.

To further these efforts, in May Governor Cuomo announced a $250 million electric vehicle expansion initiative with NYPA – dubbed EVolve NY – that will seek to create public-private sector partnerships to more aggressively accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles throughout New York State. An initial $40 million will go toward installing fast chargers along key interstate corridors, creating new New York City airport charging hubs, and establishing more electric vehicle-friendly model communities to encourage residents to transition to driving electric vehicles.

In addition, to make electric vehicles even more affordable and accessible, Governor Cuomo launched the state’s Drive Clean Rebate program in March 2017. Administered by NYSERDA, the program provides residents with a rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase or lease of a new plug-in hybrid or battery electric car from participating new car dealers. As a result of this initiative, more than 10,000 electric cars were sold in 2017, a 67 percent increase over 2016.

In the past year, the state has also provided incentives for employers to encourage employees to drive electric vehicles, installed charging stations in public areas, and made $2.2 million available from the Environmental Protection Fund in rebates for municipalities to purchase or lease electric (plug-in hybrid or battery) or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for municipal fleet use, and for the installation of public charging or fuel cell refueling infrastructure.

In addition, Tompkins County and the city and town of Ithaca are three of the State’s 18 certified Climate Smart Communities. DEC-certified Climate Smart Communities are recognized for leadership in reducing emissions and protecting their communities from a changing climate. The 18 Certified Climate Smart Communities represent New York’s foremost leaders in local climate action.