Governor Andrew Cuomo has made $3 million available to municipalities across New York State in order to promote adopting zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure. The money will subsidize the purchase or lease of battery-electric and/or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, along with their charging facilities. The funding will help New York meet two ongoing climate change initiatives: both Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision plan, which aims to reduce NY greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030, and New York’s component of the Multi-State ZEV Memorandum of Understanding, which aims to put 3.3 million zero-emission-vehicles on the roads by 2025.
Vehicles powered by electric batteries or Hydrogen fuel cells don’t generate their own atmospheric pollution. Electric vehicles are powered by electricity stored in their batteries. When empty, the batteries are then recharged at special charging stations that draw power from the electric grid. Vehicles drawing on Hydrogen fuel cells make their own electricity: the vehicle chemically separates Hydrogen atoms, uses the electrons to power an electrical circuit, then combines the Hydrogen with Oxygen from the atmosphere to create its ‘exhaust,’ which is just water. The main impediment to using these clean vehicles is the cost- Governor Cuomo hopes these funds will help municipalities across New York afford to use green vehicles in their public fleets.
Of the $3 Million available, $750,000 is designated to buying/leasing the clean vehicles themselves. Municipalities can get up to $2,500, per vehicle, for electric vehicles with a range of 10-50 miles. For vehicles with a range over 50 miles, $5,000 per vehicle is available. $1.25 Million is available for municipalities to develop their electric-vehicle recharging infrastructure. If communities around NY want to install the equipment required to recharge their electric vehicles, they are eligible for $8,000 per port, or $32,000 per pedestal. The remaining $1 Millionis dedicated toward developing Hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure. Costs incurred by a municipality while installing a facility for refueling Hydrogen fuel cells are eligible for rebate, with a required match of 20% of the rebate request. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The $3 Million comes from revenue on the Environmental Protection Fund, a portion of New York’s 2017 fiscal year budget. The Environmental protection Fund is currently valued at $300 Million- a $138 Million increase since Governor Cuomo took office in 2011.