The State of EVs in New York

How does New York stack up when it comes to electric vehicles? Click here to read our fact-sheet on the State of EVs in New York, part of our Plug It In, NY campaign.

We cover where New York stands compared to the nation when it comes to EVs, the various electrification incentives and charging programs, and statistics on vehicle registration and public chargers. 

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s 2021 State Transportation Electrification Scorecard ranks New York 2nd nationwide on the electrification of our transportation systems.

There are more than 76,000 EVs on the road, including hybrid and plug-in electric cars. More than 21,000 of them are just in Suffolk and Nassau!

There are thousands of public charging stations and outlets in the state. To propose a charging station location, click here!

If you’re on the market for an EV, you may qualify for a number of incentives that could make it easier to purchase one, including the Alternative Fueling Infrastructure Tax Credit, Drive Clean Rebate, Smart Charge Rewards, or SmartCharge New York. 

Read our fact-sheet to learn more.

Electric Vehicles on the Market

Electric vehicles have many advantages over gasoline-powered cars including better fuel economy, lower maintenance costs, zero emissions, and less pollution. 

Thinking of going electric? Check out our fact sheet on buying EVs, part of our Plug It In, NY campaign. Learn about the different types of EVs, how to buy a used EV, and the best in class as far as range, safety, and cost go.

BEVs, or battery electric vehicles, run on electricity and use an electric motor, battery, and plug instead of an internal combustion engine, gas tank, and pump. Cars with higher battery capacities tend to be able to go longer distances without needing a charge. 

PHEVs, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles run on both gas and electric power, and just like BEVs, are plugged in to recharge their batteries. When out of charge, PHEV models switch to hybrid mode, which gives them a longer range than most BEVs. 

With a greater variety on the market and prices decreasing, used EVs are also an option. We suggest buying a certified pre-owned EV, making sure to test drive it, and looking for a car with a battery warranty.

Read our fact-sheet to learn more.

Recap: Ranked Choice Voting Webinar

Primary Election Day is June 22nd. The best way to advocate for the environment is to make sure you cast your ballot. Check here for information on deadlines and locations.

This year, voters in NYC will have the opportunity to participate in ranked-choice voting. That means instead of just picking one candidate for any given position, you will rank up to your top five choices.

On Thursday, June 3rd, along with Good Old Lower East Side, the League of Women Voters of New York City, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice, we hosted a virtual event on Ranked Choice Voting. This year, numerous elected offices are on the ballot. Furthermore, New York City recently adopted a Ranked Choice Voting system, which will be used for the first time in a major election this primary day. The event discussed how to fill in your ballot, how your responses are used to elect the winners, how candidates are using the systems while campaigning, and why the system was enacted in the first place.

If you would like to view the webinar recording, please click here.

Christopher Casey is the Director of Voter Engagement at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. He leads the organization’s political and electoral programming. He began by introducing WE ACT, which was founded in 1988 to build healthy communities by ensuring that historically marginalized groups meaningfully participate in the creation of equitable environmental policies and practices. He then provided some examples of environmental racism, the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color, and environmental justice, the movement to address environmental racism and prevent inequitable exposure to environmental hazards.

He also introduced the term climate justice, the movement to address the climate crisis in an equitable manner. “A just transition” is a term used to refer to a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy that does not leave communities of color behind. He said that ranked choice voting was, in a word, “power,” describing how the previous system often forced voters to choose the lesser of two evils. Ranked choice voting will increase the power of marginalized communities by broadening the number and diversity of candidates, causing more candidates to discuss issues often ignored on the debate stage (i.e. not education, jobs, and crime), and effectuating strategic voting (allowing groups who support different top candidates but have similar views on other candidates to work together).

Click here to start the webinar recording at Christopher’s remarks.

Gianni Rodriguez is the Environmental Justice and Climate Resiliency Organizer at Good Old Lower East Side, which has fought to keep the people of the Lower East Side in their homes and community since 1977. They are a people-powered housing, environmental, and racial justice organization reaching over 80,000 people during the COVID-19 pandemic. She then cited the importance of flood protection and stormwater management to her community, citing the community’s suffering during and after Superstorm Sandy. She also mentioned extreme heat, air pollution, and waste mismanagement as other important environmental issues. Rodriguez stressed the importance of electing officials who will address these problems and mentioned the lack of confidence in the electoral process among members of her community. She’s hopeful that the new ranked choice voting system will encourage more New Yorkers to vote.

Click here to start the webinar recording at Gianni’s remarks.

Dianne Burrows is a former public school teacher who currently serves as Co-President of the League of Women Voters of New York City. The LWV educates and engages New Yorkers to be informed voters, and advocates and lobbies for legislation to improve the quality of life and ensure an open and democratic process in NYC. Burrows gave a presentation based on Adrienne Kivelson’s book What Makes New York City Run? which she titled “Who Makes NYC Run?” Her presentation discussed the roles and responsibilities of the Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, City Council, and District Attorney. The first three of these officials are elected citywide, while the remaining three are held in boroughwide elections. 

The mayor appoints the heads of most agencies without needing city council approval, signs or vetoes any bill passed by the city council, creates and proposes the city budget to the council, and develops a long-term strategic plan for the city. The mayor can also create or abolish city agencies. The comptroller is elected to be independent of the mayor and public advocate. The comptroller also recommends fiscal policies and financial transactions for the city, conducts audits, and submits advice to the mayor and city council on the financial condition of the city. The audit process is required annually and must be transparent. It is accessible at The Public Advocate (PA) is first in the mayoral line of succession. The PA advocates for the public by monitoring, investigating, and responding to all citizen complaints. Public hearings on the performance and legality of city agencies may be held by the public advocate, who also appoints one member to the City Planning Commission. The Landlord Watchlist is an example of something the PA has done.

Borough-wide elected officials consist of 5 borough presidents, 51 city council members, and 5 district attorneys. They are only elected by the constituents in their borough. The city council proposes and votes on all local laws, and has sole jurisdiction over the passage of the city budget. They also review land use matters, oversee all city programs and agencies, and set the real estate tax rate. The council can also levy other taxes with the approval of the state legislature. An important function of the city council is to implement “participatory budgeting,” which encourages citizens to participate in the budget-making process. Borough presidents are the chief executive officers for their borough. They must be consulted by the mayor and city council on any budget expenditures for their borough, are allowed to propose legislation and budgetary expenditures to the city council and mayor, and allocate discretionary spending for their borough. Borough presidents also review all land-use decisions affecting their borough, coordinate citizen complaints, and chair a board of council members and community board members in their borough.

Burrows then discussed the city’s community boards, which are advisory only but hold a lot of power. People can serve by filling out an application on their borough president’s website. She also discussed the LWV’s Vote411 tool, which allows voters to check where candidates stand on various issues. Burrows also discussed the limits to elected officials’ power. Offices are subject to term limits, with two four-year terms being the maximum allowed. The federal government also limits what the city can do, through federal funds which are allocated for specific purposes, as well as through federal laws and mandates. The state of New York restricts the city government by needing to approve all taxes (except the real estate tax). The State also controls transit and rent control, implements laws, and helps fund the city’s schools. Additionally, the city will often borrow money from the state. Finally, quasi-independent agencies such as NYC Health and Hospitals, NYCHA, and the Housing Development Corp make decisions without the direct approval of the city government.

Click here to start the webinar recording at “Who Makes NYC Run?”

Ranked choice voting increases power for voters. Burrows says that we constantly rank our choices in our lives, giving the example of ranking toppings when going out for pizza with friends. Burrows then delved into the process of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). In most elections, voters can only choose one candidate, while RCV allows you to rank up to five candidates in order of preference. RCV was approved for NYC in a 2019 election and will be implemented by the city for primary and special local elections in 2021. These include city-wide elections (for the mayor, PA, and comptroller), and borough-wide elections (for the borough president and city council). RCV will not be implemented for the elections of the DA and judges. To use RCV, rank up to five candidates in order of your preference. Rank your favorite candidate first, your second favorite candidate second, and so on. Only rank candidates who you feel can do the job and you can live with as your elected official, as you do not have to rank five candidates. You cannot rank any candidate more than once, and cannot give multiple candidates the same ranking. If you don’t rank anyone for your 1st-4th choices but rank someone 5th, that person will be your first choice candidate. Additionally, if you rank candidates with choices 1-3 and 5, but do not rank anyone fourth (miss a rank), then your fifth choice candidate will become your fourth choice.

Ranked choice ballots have a different counting process as well. If any candidate receives more than 50% of first-place votes, they win the election. If no candidate earns more than 50% of the first-choice votes, counting will continue in rounds. The candidate with the lowest number of first-choice votes will be eliminated, and each of their voter’s votes will be allocated to their second-choice candidate. Once those votes are allocated, the remaining candidate with the lowest percentage of votes will be eliminated, and their votes will be redistributed according to their voters’ next highest-ranked candidates. The process will repeat until there are only two candidates left. Vote counting may take longer than traditional elections since there may be multiple rounds. The results for every election will be posted on

In November, voters will vote on no-excuse absentee voting and same-day voter registration. 

Click here to start the recording at the presentation on RCV.

A Q&A session followed the presentations. Regarding what happens if a voter makes a mistake on their ballot (i.e. filling the same candidate in twice, filling in two candidates for the same choice), Burrows said that the machine would flag the submission and prompt the voter with a choice of filling out a new ballot or submitting anyway. If the second ballot also has an issue, the voter will get one final chance on a third ballot. Poll workers will distribute cards to voters on how to correctly fill in their ballot. Regarding incorrect absentee ballots, Burrows replied that only the oath envelope can be ‘cured’ in absentee voting since the ballot does not have a name on it. Therefore, incorrect votes will not be corrected when voting absentee. Each vote can only count towards one candidate at a time. You can still write in a candidate in ranked choice voting (for any choice). RCV was adopted because it gives people more of a voice in who their elected officials are. RCV elections are audited, and results after every round are displayed at the end of the election. Results of the election may take a couple of weeks. RCV will save the city money by allowing the city to avoid spending on runoff elections. Rodriguez said it is paramount that we vote for candidates that can represent us, and that climate and environmental justice are life-saving policies for her community. She also said she feels that RCV will encourage more people who care about environmental justice issues to vote, citing the appeal of having your vote count even after your first-choice candidate is eliminated. Later, Rodriguez said that advocacy and outreach have helped us reach more people than ever before, but added that a lot more on-the-ground outreach is needed. Burrows said that several municipalities around the Bay Area, as well as the state of Maine, have adopted RCV. Rodriguez said that a lot of education and trust-building must be done to quell voters’ cynicism. Burrows said that if you do not like a candidate, do not rank that candidate.

Click here to start the webinar at the audience Q&A.

We thank our event partners North Brooklyn Neighbors and South Bronx Unite.

Webinar Recap: Decarbonizing Our Manufacturing Sector

On May 25th, together with Columbia’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, we held a webinar on the opportunities and challenges of decarbonizing the manufacturing sector, which is the third-largest contributor to emissions nationally. This webinar was the fifth in our series on Implementing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. View the recording here.

Our President Julie Tighe kicked off the forum by discussing the CLCPA and the state’s clean energy goals. She then talked specifically about the manufacturing sector, which is the third largest contributor to emissions nationally. Tighe stressed the need for clean energy technologies in the sector. 

A panel of experts was moderated by Dr. Julio Friedmann, a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Global Clean Energy Policy at Columbia University. Friedmann started by underscoring the urgency of climate change. He said that we need to take action, but that there are substantial challenges in the manufacturing sector, including technology, cost, and equity limitations. Friedmann later added that decarbonization efforts are going on throughout the country and world, such as incentives and tariffs. Later in the forum, he spoke to specific technologies (e.g., biofuels) that are being discussed to help decarbonize the manufacturing sector. Central and Upstate New York have an incredible density of skilled labor, added Friedmann.

Heather Briccetti is the President and CEO of the Business Council of New York State. She said that we should care about manufacturing because it is critical to the economy and a provider of quality jobs. She said one challenge the sector faces is that not every process can be made electric, such as the making of glass (which requires heat). She also cited the cost of replacing long-term equipment. Briccetti says that one of the big challenges of the CLCPA is the uncertainty of the costs of decarbonizing. Uncertainty, she says, may cause companies to relocate. New York needs the rest of the country and world to decarbonize with it, to keep the state competitive.

She wants the state to buy its paper exclusively from New York paper manufacturers. Briccetti also said that we need to have clear market signals and certainty on the cost front. She said that reducing emissions will have an impact on public health, especially in disadvantaged communities. Green jobs, economic development, and increased local tax revenue will all be effects of a green economy. However, she also mentioned that manufacturers leaving the state would create more disadvantaged communities. She feels that innovation and infrastructure are critical, and that we need to use our assets to develop innovative energy solutions. Briccetti also feels that we should encourage those who develop new technologies to stay in New York.

Luke Clemente is the Managing Director at Clemente Materials and Clemente Group, which supplies a variety of products including concrete, asphalt, sand, gravel, and topsoil. He said that getting the human capital to support carbon neutral infrastructure is a challenge, but said that they look at things like replacing diesel with natural gas as a fuel source. They also recently replaced a diesel excavator with an electric dredge. He says that in his industry, recycling can be advantageous, citing glass and asphalt. Clemente said that all businesses need to be focused on adaptation, adding that manufacturing is what brings wealth to the state. He also mentioned that there should be a partnership between companies, utilities, and governments. 

Clemente later said that he sees the potential for green jobs, since electrification will require a lot of people with technical skills. However, he says that finding people with these skills is challenging. Clemente says that his company, which is not a technology company, relies on others for innovation but is motivated by the goal of becoming less carbon intensive.

Matt Roberts is the Founder and Co-owner of Sherrill Manufacturing, the only stainless-steel flatware manufacturer left in the US. He said that manufacturing provides an opportunity for people who do not wish to attend college to become a part of the economy. He cited the cost of electric heating as a challenge, but said that his company makes a conscious effort to buy local. Roberts said that they do a lot of recycling, and that 85% of their stainless steel they purchase is already recycled. His company’s location allows it to get electricity from Niagara Falls. They also employ an energy-saving infrared heating system.

His company’s largest competition is manufacturing companies in China, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam. His biggest fear is that if the rest of the world does not decarbonize with New York, companies will either need to move to other states to compete or will be unable to compete. Companies will move to places which do not care about the environment, and emissions will increase. Roberts feels that the state needs to recognize that manufacturers are very important, and that we need a diverse supply of products from a global standpoint. He also mentioned the European Union’s tariff to incentivize low carbon products. He suggested that New York not only implement new green technologies, but become the world epicenter for these technologies, drawing people to the state.

Randy Wolken is the President and CEO of the Manufacturers Association of New York. He said that manufacturing is critical in New York State, and that decarbonizing the sector while remaining competitive with manufacturers in India and China is a challenge. However, based on past experience, he believes that the sector is up to the challenge. He says that a clean energy transition in the manufacturing sector will look like previous clean energy transitions, and that the manufacturing sector has great abilities to confront challenges and use state of the art manufacturing techniques. He also said that there are a lot of great technologies in the pipeline. 

Wolken added that many companies are concerned about the environment, but do not want to lose their competitive opportunities. Wolken emphasized that there are going to be significant opportunities for green jobs in the state, and that New York can be a leader in decarbonizing the manufacturing sector. NYSERDA, he said, is a wonderful resource which other states do not have. Wolken stated that we should focus on the process of decarbonization instead of just the technology involved. He later said that we need to tap into our education system to prepare people to work with new green technologies, and mentioned the challenge of installing infrastructure.

John Williams is the Vice President for Policy and Regulatory Affairs at NYSERDA. Williams said that because the manufacturing sector is so varied, developing clean technology for the sector will be a challenge. He also stressed the need for advancements at the national and international level. He added that we need to be thinking about the entire timescale between now and 2050, but that between 2020 and 2030, manufacturers should focus on energy efficiency. Between 2030 and 2050, we need advanced technology options (such as carbon capture) to come into play, says Williams. He also mentioned that there will be emergent technologies and alternative sources of energy which can be used to help decarbonize the manufacturing sector in the future.

According to Williams, we can prevent “leakage,” or companies leaving NY State, by focusing on near-term decarbonization solutions, such as energy-efficiency. He also mentioned NYSERDA’s TechFlex program, an audit that attempts to identify potential opportunities for energy efficiency in a facility. The goal of the program is to help companies make advantageous decisions in the short and long term future. He also said that New York is investigating how it can work with other states to develop a low-carbon product environment. The state is also planning on tracking the carbon footprint of its own procurements. NYSERDA has recently completed a study on what the power grid can look like to meet the 70% renewable electricity goal. Williams says that the goal is to decarbonize facilities in low-income communities without those communities losing jobs. Part of this work will be creating career pathways which allow individuals to take part in apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs. While NYSERDA focuses on energy, Williams stressed that New York should also look far beyond that.

An audience Q&A session followed the forum. Dr. Friedmann started by mentioning that the reliability of the grid is being called into question with the retirement of nuclear and peaker plants. He also mentioned that while the price of renewables is decreasing, power prices are on the rise. Williams said that we need to make sure we heed the environmental outcomes we know are necessary. He added that we need to be managing costs to ratepayers while we are looking for economies of scale. Wolken said that there is no “silver bullet,” but that the goal is to pilot technology before scaling it to reduce costs. The approach should be a combination of public, private, and nonprofit.

In closing, Briccetti said that we need to value the contributions made by manufacturers, leverage the education and energy assets we have, and rethink policies which add costs to electricity unrelated to reliability. Matt said that over the last 15 months, US citizens have understood the importance of manufacturing. He said that if we transition the right way, we will become a magnet which benefits manufacturers and functions as a showcase for the rest of the world. Luke said he was encouraged by the discussion and talked about the need to stay focused on the right balance between a decarbonized and competitive future.

The Economics of Purchasing & Owning an EV

As part of our public awareness campaign on electric vehicles, Plug It In, NY, we released the fourth in our series of fact sheets to encourage New Yorkers to make an EV their next vehicle. 

The fact sheet focuses on the costs, incentives, and funding opportunities associated with purchasing and owning an EV.

State, federal, and utility incentives help lower the cost of purchasing and owning electric vehicles. 

A federal tax credit for drivers purchasing new EVs ranges from $2,500  to $7,500. 

New York State offers a Drive Clean Rebate, which discounts the price of EVs for consumers by up to $2,000 at participating new car dealers. There are also discounts on tolls for electric vehicle drivers, including the Thruway Authority’s Green Pass  Discount Plan.

One commonly held misconception is that EVs are cost-prohibitive. While this may have been true decades ago, the upfront cost of an electric vehicle is becoming more competitive with that of its gasoline counterparts. 

Electric cars are also cheaper to fuel and maintain. 

EV owners will see savings as early as their first year. The average yearly cost of fueling an EV in New York is $708, while for a gas-powered car it’s $1,200. EV maintenance costs are lower than conventional cars because they have fewer moving parts (e.g., belts, crankshaft, fuel pumps, pistons) so they have fewer mechanical failures. 

Additionally, a comprehensive study by NYSERDA found that increased adoption of EVs would economically benefit EV owners. Depending on their location within the state, owning an EV could net drivers savings of up to $3,857 over a vehicle’s lifespan. EV owners are not the only beneficiaries of increased EV adoption, either; moderate adoption of electric vehicles would result in a statewide net societal benefit of approximately $5.1 billion.

Read more in our fact sheet today!

Read testimonials from EV drivers across New York

Paul Dibenedetto, Long Island

Below is a photo of my car charging at home using the charger Ford gave with the car. It hooks up to a 120v outlet. In the summer the electric range is about 23-25 miles and in the winter, that drops to about 13-15 miles of range. Overall, the lifetime mpg is about 52 mpg and because the car shows how many miles are driven in electric versus gas, it’s about a 60/40 ratio of driving on electric/gas.

I bought the car with 19K miles in 2016 and now the car has 92K miles. My next car will most likely be fully electric.

Prof. Yelleshpur Dathatri and Geetha Dathatri, Medford

Vehicle: Hyundai Kona Electric
Year of Purchase: November 2019. Model year 2019
Purchase price: without rebates and credits: $39,000
New York State incentive at the dealership: $2,000
Federal Tax Credit: $7,500
High Speed home charger: Charge Point PSEG credit $500
Range on full charge: winter months around 250 to 280 miles
Summer months: 360 to 380 miles
PSEG Long Island energy incentive: 3 cents per KWh charged during off peak hours (11 pm to 6am)
Approximate savings compared to a gasoline vehicle: At least 50% in fuel costs.

For the past nearly 12 years we have been driving hybrid vehicles with gasoline back up. We wanted to try a pure electric vehicle and after some research on various factors, we pitched on the Hyundai Kona Electric model. The incentives and tax credits have been very attractive. The support by the local utility to pure electric vehicles is commendable.

We are extremely happy to be driving a clean vehicle which does not produce any pollution locally. We do not have to go for any oil change and such maintenance items.

The range on full charge has not been a constraint since we drive mostly locally. Options exist to charge the vehicle when driving a little farther distance. As more and more charging options increase on the highways, we believe, electric vehicles are the future of the automotive industry.

Portia Zwicker, Niskayuna

1. What first inspired your decision to buy an electric vehicle and what was it like to make this transition?

I’d been wanting to switch to electric for a couple years to get off gas. I’m a climate activist, and while I know major change has to come from higher up, I also make as many personal changes as I can. Being able to make this change was indeed a privilege.

2. Which electric vehicle do you own? Why did you choose this make and model?

We replaced my gas car with a 2020 Chevy Bolt LT that we are leasing. Two months later, we replaced my husband’s gas car with a used 2017 Chevy Bolt Premier which we have bought. So we have two Bolts.

3. Have you found that you’ve saved money on fuel and maintenance costs by owning an electric vehicle compared to a conventional vehicle (if you owned a conventional vehicle in the past)?

Yes, absolutely. We have not bought any gas since obtaining these EVs, and of course, no oil changes, transmission issues…I did get a flat tire I had to replace but that was my fault haha.

4. Did you use any available EV funding sources to assist with your purchase? If so, which ones? Was the funding process difficult to navigate?

Unfortunately not since federal funding is no longer available for Chevrolet EVs. The 2020 car is a lease and we are not the original owners of the 2017 car.

5. Do you charge your car at home or use public chargers? Can you expand on your experience with charging at home and/or in public?

My husband charges on a level 2 for free at work. I work from home and don’t drive much so I easily get by charging at home on a Level 1. However, I definitely take advantage of public charging when I’m out and about. Most public level 2 stations are free!

6. What would you say to an interested buyer with range anxiety and concerns about charging?

I have zero range anxiety with day-to-day around-town driving. If you have a typical or average commute, you can get all you need by charging overnight on level 1 (standard 120v outlet). We haven’t done much long-range driving yet (thanks COVID), but our one trip to NYC and back was totally doable with two stops (one each way) at DC fast charging stations at rest stops.

Jeff Krenn, Queens

1. What first inspired your decision to buy an electric vehicle and what was it like to make this transition?

I am both a huge advocate of environmental sustainability and a huge bleeding edge tech nerd. When I first learned about Tesla, I became enthralled in the idea of one day owning what represented a physical manifestation of a perfect marriage of these two concepts. Transitioning from a gas car to an all-electric EV wasn’t difficult but as I live in a downtown setting with no garage or driveway to park and charge in, I did rely on the ability to charge at work and publicly. This directly impacted my decisions around who I would and would not work for when I lived in an area of upstate new york that demanded I drive daily; now that I’m living in NYC it forced me to prioritize finding a parking garage with vehicle charging and negotiating a monthly parking rate that would include it.

2. Which electric vehicle do you own? Why did you choose this make and model?

2018 Tesla Model 3 (Long Range first production, RWD, with Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self Driving add-on packages). This was the first Tesla Model 3 variant available and I reserved it two years in advance, then took delivery in July of 2018. I chose this model since it was the first one available that was within a feasible purchase and ownership budget for me, and I chose the version I did because I wanted the longest range battery possible, along with all the upgraded tech options available at the time and for the foreseeable future via software updates.

3. Have you found that you’ve saved money on fuel and maintenance costs by owning an electric vehicle compared to a conventional vehicle (if you owned a conventional vehicle in the past)?

I’ve absolutely saved money on fuel and maintenance. In the first year alone my savings were many thousands of dollars, since there’s been hardly any need to pay for charging except on long trips (supercharging is not free, but most public charging options are), and there’s been zero maintenance outside of tire rotations and a few repairs which are covered by Tesla. Oil changes are a thing of the past!

4. Did you use any available EV funding sources to assist with your purchase? If so, which ones? Was the funding process difficult to navigate?

I took advantage of the full Federal Tax Credit incentive ($7500) and the NY Drive Clean instant rebate (I believe this was $2k or $3k, I can’t recall now). The NY Rebate came off the purchase price instantly without my having to ask, and the tax credit was processed automatically as well. Both were simple and seamless processes that required minimal effort on my end to secure.

5. Do you charge your car at home or use public chargers? Can you expand on your experience with charging at home and/or in public?

As I mentioned above I do not own a property that affords me the ability to charge at home, so I am at the mercy of public charging infrastructure and availability. That said I mostly charged at work in 2018 and 2019 when I lived upstate, and upon moving to NYC, I now mostly charge at my parking garage, as I chose one that agreed to include it with my monthly fee. In advance of taking a drive I ping the garage and ask them to charge the car ahead of my pickup time, and everything goes pretty smoothly for me in that regard.

6. What would you say to an interested buyer with range anxiety and concerns about charging?

If you have range anxiety I cannot recommend Tesla enough since they are the only EV company that has prioritized creating a proprietary network of superchargers that keep you on the road with minimal delay. in fact I actually enjoy long trips more now, knowing there is a baked in break each 2.5-3 hours of driving, during which my fiancé and I will eat or take a bio break or just sit and read/scroll our phones for a bit, recharging our own batteries for the drive while the car recharges itself. I do not think I’d enjoy relying on public Level 2 charging for road trips since it is quite slow and availability is not reliable in many rural and less population-dense areas of the country.

Cynthia Braun, Westchester

“I love my EV! I was concerned initially that I would have “range anxiety” about running out of charge in an inconvenient location, but I have found chargers are plentiful and easy to access. Also, we installed a home charger so every morning I leave the house with 200 miles on my battery. It turns out that this is more than enough for my typical daily driving. Even on long trips, we’ve found it’s refreshing to stop for a half hour at a Super Charger site when needed. We stretch our legs, get a cup of coffee, and walk the dog. Traveling this way is surprisingly easy and pleasant! I also love never going to the gas station! EV’s need so little maintenance that we save money and time that way, too. We’ve been delighted with our EV & recommend one to everyone!” 

June and Jeffrey Stumpf, Westchester

Quote for carousel & landing page: “You can charge at home using a portable charging cord from a standard 120 volt standard home outlet or charge from a 240 volt outlet. A 240 volt charging station can be mounted outside your house (like ours) or in the garage. You can typically top off and charge at home overnight from 120 or 240 volt. I generally charge at night and have 100% charge the next day…Very long trips require planning, since the electric charging station infrastructure is not as built-out as the gas station infrastructure… There are apps that can help you find charging stations on the go…. The only thing I miss about gas stations are the snacks!” 

Mike Jaklitsch, Queens

The purchase process was simple compared to any past experience with ICE vehicles in the past. Driving an EV, especially a Tesla, is unlike any other driving experience. Plus my Model S improves with age via regular software updates. How many other cars can boast about that? 

Nicholas Palumbo, Long Island

The purchase process was simple compared to any past experience with ICE vehicles in the past. Driving an EV, especially a Tesla, is unlike any other driving experience. Plus my Model S improves with age via regular software updates. How many other cars can boast about that? 

Bobby Parchuri, Long Island

1. What first inspired your decision to buy an electric vehicle and what was it like to make this transition?

I was looking for something more environmentally friendly with better performance which is hard to find with traditional vehicles, it’s usually a compromise of one or the other. Making the switch was easy but I did do my research ahead of time to know what to expect. 

2. Which electric vehicle do you own? Why did you choose this make and model?

I own a 2018 Tesla Model 3. It was the only model on the market with 300 miles of range under $60,000. It also has the benefit of utilizing Tesla’s supercharger network for long distance travel. 

3. Have you found that you’ve saved money on fuel and maintenance costs by owning an electric vehicle compared to a conventional vehicle (if you owned a conventional vehicle in the past)?

I can say that I have saved money on maintenance and fuel but the amount is small considering the car is a depreciating asset and the money saved on fuel and maintenance is dwarfed by the depreciation of such an expensive car. 

Since PSEG launched Smart Charge Rewards which credits back $0.05 of the approximately $0.20 for each kWh used for charging overnight, charging the car has made the fuel cost more economical.

4. Did you use any available EV funding sources to assist with your purchase? If so, which ones? Was the funding process difficult to navigate?

I used the federal EV rebate of $7500 which was available for Tesla’s at the time. It was easy to include in my tax return for that year and it got refunded when I received my tax refund. I was also able to use NY State Drive Clean Rebate which is a $2000 EV rebate and all the paperwork was handled by the seller and the amount was deducted from the final price of the car. 

5. Do you charge your car at home or use public chargers? Can you expand on your experience with charging at home and/or in public?

I charge both at public stations and at home.

At level 2 public stations, the ones you will find in parking lots of retailers or public buildings, the charge rate is relatively slow. If the car is charging for an hour or two, it can recoup the energy used to get there and back, useful for a plug in hybrid or a car with a smaller battery pack. With the Tesla, I usually have ample range to not have to worry about that. Oftentimes if there is a fee to use these chargers, it is not worthwhile as charging at home is much less expensive. 

At level 3 stations, such as the Tesla Supercharger network, I can stop for 20 minutes and get back 150 miles of range. I have used these many times when taking long trips on the interstate. The cost is fair considering the speed of charging and is still much less than the cost of gas. The car will use the navigation system to route you through the network to stop at appropriate charging locations, this is all done automatically. Many people see the 20 minute fueling stop as long, but unlike gasoline, all you need to do is plug it in and walk away. I find this time useful to use the restroom, get a snack or relax for a few minutes after driving for several hours. The car is usually ready to go before I am. 

Lastly, I do most of my charging at home. I purchased an EV charging station similar to a level 2 station you will find in public areas. PSEG has a $500 rebate which offsets most of the cost of the charger. Installation was simple as the charger plugs into a standard dryer/oven/RV receptacle which is common in many houses already or can be added in easily if the electric panel is nearby. 

Using this, the car will charge fully overnight. It is very convenient being able to arrive home, plug in, and be fully charged for the next drive. I don’t have to worry about fluctuating gas prices, or the need to go out of my way to stop at a gas station, waiting in line and at the pump before getting to my destination. 

6. What would you say to an interested buyer with range anxiety and concerns about charging?

A Tesla is a great choice for a primary car. It has the range for 99% of drives, and for the few times a year most people will take long road trips, the supercharger network acts just like gas stations along your route allowing you to recharge quickly and get back on the road. I never have to worry about range and the car is aware of its state of charge and helps navigate to charging locations if it becomes an issue. 

Charging at home is not a problem, even a regular outlet will charge the car and return about 50 miles of range overnight. When visiting other people, I have plugged into dryer outlets or standard receptacles and never had any problems. I like to remind people when charging infrastructure is questioned, even in the most remote areas, electric service is more common than a gas station. Nearly every building in this country has electric service so charging the car, although slowly, can happen almost anywhere. 

More planning would be needed for other electric cars as there are not as many level 3 charging stations available. These would still make great cars if you had another vehicle available to use for long drives. The cost to run and maintain a simple electric vehicle is orders of magnitude less than their gas counterparts. As the initial purchase price continues to decline or if you can buy an already depreciated used vehicle, it makes the financials much more attractive.

Andrea Shaye, Albany County

What first inspired your decision to buy an electric vehicle and what was it like to make this transition? 

My husband and I have been Toyota Prius owners since 2005, and we were excited about a new car that could further reduce our impact on the environment. At one point, he purchased a cheap used car that he was going to convert into an EV, but that plan never came to fruition. While working to complete my MBA, I completed a course which focused on business and the environment, and I wrote a paper about the Nissan Leaf. This was prior to the car’s release as the first mass-produced EV for purchase. The transition to the Leaf was seamless for us. Initially, my husband commuted 80 minutes a day in it, and we continue to use it as our primary car for local errands and visits. 

Which electric vehicle do you own? Why did you choose this make and model? 

We own a 2013 Nissan Leaf. We appreciated that the car was built with the intent of creating an EV as opposed to those that companies had created as gas models with an EV option available. Although they weren’t a big factor in our purchasing decision, we enjoy the heated seats and steering wheel and the quick pick-up.  At the time, I only remember Tesla as the other EV option on the market we would have considered, and there were none in our price range. 

Have you found that you’ve saved money on fuel and maintenance costs by owning an electric vehicle compared to a conventional vehicle (if you owned a conventional vehicle in the past)? 

We have absolutely saved money since we don’t need any oil changes or upkeep on a gas engine. So far, maintenance costs have been minimal. We didn’t notice a major difference in our electric bill, and we charge for free all over town.

Did you use any available EV funding sources to assist with your purchase? If so, which ones? Was the funding process difficult to navigate?  

Yes, we received the $7500 federal tax credit which was very simple to navigate. That was the most excited I’ve ever been to file my taxes. 

Do you charge your car at home or use public chargers? Can you expand on your experience with charging at home and/or in public? 

It is so awesome to be able to charge up right in our own home. We had a 220 charger installed, so we usually only need a few hours to get back to full after we’ve been out. The app makes it easy to check the charging status and start the climate control. When my husband was commuting 35 miles to work, he was able to charge up at his office, too. Our favorite grocery store has charging stations, so we fill up for free when we do our shopping trips. 

What would you say to an interested buyer with range anxiety and concerns about charging?  

In my 8 years of owning our Leaf, I’ve never been stranded. The gauge makes it very clear how much farther you can drive on the charge. And electricity is even easier to come by than a gas station if you’re really in a pinch! With EVs available today, ranges are increasing. Charging stations are only going to become more plentiful as the current administration works to expand environmental protections and promote more sustainable automobiles.



Recap: Advancing Wind & Protecting Wildlife Webinar

On April 21, together with Citizens Campaign for the Environment, we held an event on Advancing Wind and Protecting Wildlife. The event focused on how offshore wind energy projects can be built without causing any adverse effects on the neighboring wildlife. It was held in response to frequently asked questions from the public and featured several expert speakers. View the slideshows here and here.

Adrienne Esposito, the Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, kicked off the session by saying that she thinks wildlife is critical when talking about offshore wind. NYLCV President Julie Tighe then spoke to the state’s commitment to bring 9 gigawatts of offshore wind energy to shore by 2035. Ongoing and planned projects include the Southfork Wind Farm (132 megawatts), Sunrise Wind Farm (880 MW), Empire Wind 1 (816 MW), Empire Wind 2 (1260 MW), and Beacon Wind (1230 MW). At the federal level, President Biden released a comprehensive plan to jumpstart offshore wind, including a nationwide goal of 30 gigawatts by 2030, creating 80,000 jobs. Tighe added that we want to make sure we are getting these wind projects done in a way that does not negatively impact wildlife.

Howard Rosenbaum is the Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Ocean Giants Program. At the event, he talked about the prevalence of the different species of whales present in the State’s waters, including Humpback, Fin, Blue, Sei, and Minke Whales. Of particular note is the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. He also mentioned that there are large concentrations of acoustically-sensitive small cetaceans such as beaked whales. He then talked about the threat of ocean noise pollution to whale species that rely on sound. According to Rosenbaum, elevated noise levels can negatively impact whales by leading to behavioral disturbance, masking vital communication, and even causing physiological damage. As a result, it is important to consider the cumulative impacts of the noise before installing any offshore wind projects. Rosenbaum then played a video showing whales in the city and illustrating how genetic information is collected from them. Whales, he said, migrate through New York waters during the spring and fall. He then gave an example of how we can protect whales: there were recently real-time acoustic detections of the North Atlantic Right Whale in the New York Bight. This triggered a “Right Whale Slow Zone” Southeast of the New York City area to protect those whales.

Drew Carey, CEO of INSPIRE Environmental, is a marine scientist with over 30 years of experience in the assessment of the seafloor. He talked about his experience from working with the Block Island Wind Farm, a Rhode Island offshore wind project. His presentation focused on the effects of offshore wind projects on local fish populations. He began by talking about a phenomenon known as the artificial reef effect. An introduction of a hard surface on the ocean floor allows the growth of organisms, almost immediately attracting fish seeking food and refuge to the structure. This creates a small “island of biodiversity.” Carey then talked specifically about several studies conducted at the Block Island Wind Farm. Overall, the studies found that artificial reef effects are local and may take 10 years to fully develop. Additionally, there was no significant change in fish populations between the turbine and no turbine periods, while changes in abundance across the survey areas were consistent with regional trends. The first study he mentioned was a Demersal Trawl Survey, conducted on a commercial trawler using ordinary fishing gear and calibrated to be consistent with other studies in the area. Samples were collected every month for seven years (two years before construction, two during construction, and three after construction). In total, 750,000 fish and invertebrates were collected. The findings showed a temporal change consistent with the region in populations of Northern Sea Robin and Atlantic Herring. However, Black Sea Bass were attracted to the structure and their population increased enormously. Additionally, the population of Blue Mussels increased because of the introduction of an intertidal region. As a result, blue mussels became included in fish diets. The Atlantic Cod population also exhibited a large increase. A Lobster Trap Survey was also conducted over the same time period, but only during the months of May through October each year. Over seven years, 12,037 traps were sampled with 44,932 lobsters collected. The lobster population increased during construction and then declined afterward. Other main takeaways were that study designs should balance the interests of scientists and the fishing community and that they should be site-specific. Additionally, it is important to know what is and what is not an ecologically meaningful difference. Regional data is necessary to properly interpret site-specific data, and regional funding and cooperation would help leverage efforts.

Catherine Bowes, Program Director of Offshore Wind Energy at the National Wildlife Federation, gave a presentation focused on the policy aspects of protecting wildlife while advancing offshore wind. She started her presentation by mentioning how on March 21, the US Secretaries of the Interior, Energy, Commerce, and Transportation announced a sweeping national commitment to offshore wind power which includes achieving a 30-gigawatt national goal by 2030 while protecting biodiversity. The commitment also includes federal funding for port infrastructure, loan guarantees, and research, as well as a plan to advance the stalled offshore wind leasing and permitting process in the Atlantic. For any offshore wind project, the plan should be guided by the best available scientific data, expert and stakeholder engagement, current ocean planning efforts, and comprehensive monitoring. Environmental protection must be in place at all stages of development: during siting (avoid locating projects in sensitive, critical wildlife habitat areas), construction (adjust timing and method of survey and construction activities to protect wildlife), operations and maintenance (employ proven wildlife impact reduction strategies), and decommissioning (make sure infrastructure is removed correctly). Bowes emphasized how it is everybody’s job to make sure offshore wind projects are done responsibly. The federal government should conduct science-based reviews of all leasing and project permitting decisions, state governments should offer a procurement process that requires or incentivizes responsible development, and industry should commit to responsible development practices. Additionally, federal governments, state governments, and industry should provide ongoing, robust stakeholder outreach and engagement, and advance research, while NGOs and other stakeholders should engage early and often. Bowes also said that there are signs of hope: new federal leadership, state leadership, collaboration, industry leadership (Right Whale agreements, not building turbines within 15 miles of the New Jersey shore), and unity (an April statement being signed by over 100 leaders).

The event concluded with a question-and-answer session. In response to a question about why we should pursue offshore wind projects if there are whales in New York, Julie Tighe explained that whales can co-exist with wind turbines and that offshore wind is one of our few options for clean energy. Rosenbaum added that we have to put the best practices in place and use the best available science to protect these animals while we still have them, while Esposito said that we will be using floating turbines, especially in deep water areas. In response to a question about whether complex bases for wind turbines would act better as artificial reefs, Drew said that the Block Island Wind Farm is doing a study with the Nature Conservancy considering how to improve the nature of the base of turbines. Responding to an inquiry about whether benefits extended across socio-economic divides, Bowes said that it is a really important question that a lot of people are thinking about, and Rosenbaum said that they will make sure that job and engagement opportunities for various socio-economic backgrounds are available.

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