Transportation is responsible for more than a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The transition to electric vehicles is just one practical way to fight climate change, yet they still only account for about 2% of the U.S. vehicle market. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recently released the State Transportation Electrification Scorecard research report, which named New York as one of the top 10 states for our policy and program efforts to electrify transportation.
The report noted the efforts of New York State to make access to electric transportation equitable, stating: “They are creating targeted programs for low income, economically distressed, and environmental justice (EJ) communities.” Some other notable achievements that the report emphasizes are that the state has created plans for electric vehicles and the proper charging infrastructure for both light and heavy-duty electric vehicles, has put a range of financial and non-financial incentives for vehicle purchase in place, has provided signals to optimize the electricity grid by integrating electric vehicles, and has demonstrated support for transitioning to electric vehicle school bus fleets. Overall, the report ranks New York State as number 2, behind California, for progress on transportation electrification.
When it comes to planning and goal setting, the report ranks New York State as the regional leader for the Northeast, and number 4 overall. New York along with Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina, and Minnesota, has developed action plans for electric vehicles as well as making a commitment to getting more electric vehicles on the road through shared executive action. The report ranks New York number 2, behind California, again when it comes to incentives for electric vehicles. Both New York and California “have comprehensive and substantial EV tax credits and rebates and score full points for their utility spending on EV charging infrastructure” the report states.
The Transportation Electrification Scorecard report discusses the importance of states including funding and goals in order to increase electric vehicle adoption in low-income and environmental justice communities. The Scorecard highlighted New York’s Electric Vehicle Make-Ready Initiative, which sets a goal of deploying more than 50,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2025 with $206 million set aside to low-income communities.
The New York League of Conservation Voters continues to be a strong advocate for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions through electric vehicles, which is why we support legislation to establish an electric vehicle charging tariff in order to encourage the adoption of public electric vehicles by making it easier to cover the costs of commercial electric charging stations and legislation to lift the artificial cap on direct sales locations for zero emission vehicle manufacturers, thereby making it easier for New Yorkers to purchase the zero emission vehicles.
NYLCV is also leading a coalition, Clean Fuels NY, in support of establishing a clean fuel standard, which is one of the most consequential policies New York could adopt to accelerate transportation electrification.
And the NYLCV Education Fund is conducting a public awareness campaign, Plug It In, NY, to encourage New Yorkers to make their next car an electric vehicle (EV). Going electric is one of the best ways New Yorkers can fight climate change.