$500G grant will triple electric vehicle charging stations in North Hempstead Town

Originally published in Newsday

North Hempstead will add 30 electric vehicle charging stations across seven town facilities, tripling the current number of publicly accessible chargers in town, officials announced Tuesday.

Standing in front of an electric car at Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park, where some of the new chargers will be added, officials said a $500,000 state grant will allow the town to install Level 2 EV chargers, which require a 240-volt power outlet and can fully charge a car in four to eight hours. The town has fewer than 10 such stations, according to charging station locator website plugshare.com, but officials said the new chargers should be installed by next summer.

“It’s going to help expand the charging network that our community needs in order to support having more electric cars on the road,” said State Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills), who helped secure the funding. “We know this is a vital part of our green future and this is a first step to get us there.”

Kaplan said the locations being considered are Clinton G. Martin Park and Michael J. Tully Park, also in New Hyde Park; Town Dock and North Hempstead Beach Park in Port Washington; Mary Jane Davies Park in Manhasset; Clark Botanical Gardens in Albertson; and the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury. 

Officials said drivers will only be charged for the cost of electricity and no other fees when using the chargers.

As of Oct. 1, nearly 33,000 electric vehicles were registered on Long Island, according to data from the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Last year, the DMV reported about 11,000 new EV registrations, and for 2022, registrations are about 8,000.

Shawn Brown, North Hempstead’s commissioner of public safety, said he drives a Chevrolet Bolt and that fully charged, it gets about 260 miles. He noted that he charges the car at home because there are few charging stations in the town.

“In this area there are not enough public charging stations, so the infrastructure needs to change, but this grant … will be able to provide those charging stations,” Brown said.

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Idaho National Laboratory, the cost of electricity to power an electric vehicle over an estimated 15 years can be as much as $14,480 lower than fueling a gas-powered vehicle.

Rosemary Mascali, chair of the education and outreach subcommittee of Drive Electric Long Island, a coalition dedicated to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure on Long Island, told Newsday that the benefits of electric vehicles include reduced harmful emissions and lower fuel and maintenance costs. 

“Having charging infrastructure around really does help people feel it’s OK to switch to EVs,” Mascali said.