Senator Metzger’s Bill to Accelerate the Shift to Electric Vehicles in New York Signed into Law

Albany, NY...State Senator Jen Metzger’s bill (S5820) was signed into law on Tuesday, directing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to identify areas across the state where electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure is insufficient and evaluate options for filling the gaps statewide.

In New York, the number of electric vehicles on the road has increased by almost 63 percent in one year—a jump from 24,551 in 2017 to 36,854 in 2018. New York, however, is not one of the top ten EV-ownership states and will need to significantly increase ownership in order to meet the state’s goal of getting approximately two million EVs on the road and achieve a 40 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2030—targets set by the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, signed into law in July of this year.

“Electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain and operate than gas-powered vehicles and provide a huge opportunity for New York State to significantly reduce carbon emissions,” explained Senator Metzger, who drives a fully electric Chevy Bolt. “I’m thrilled that this bill will help the state take the necessary steps forward in increasing EV accessibility. When we passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act this year, we set ambitious but absolutely essential targets to address the climate crisis, and I will continue to advance legislation that will help us meet those goals, including legislation to propel clean transportation forward in New York.”

There are more than 10 million registered vehicles in New York State, but less than one percent are electric vehicles. "Range anxiety," or the concern that EVs will lose their charge in an area with few publicly available chargers, remains a significant impediment to their widespread adoption.

While there have been ambitious efforts by the State to increase the availability of electric vehicle charging stations on thruways and at airports, New York still lacks the critical mass of charging stations to make an electric vehicle a realistic option for every New Yorker. Creating an inventory of all the charging stations and EV infrastructure in New York will enable state agencies to identify areas where the EV infrastructure is insufficient and leverage that information to benefit the environmental health of New York State.

During the 2019 legislative session, Metzger, together with Assemblymember Pat Fahy (AD-109) who carries this bill in the Assembly, announced a package of legislation that would help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and significantly reduce carbon emissions in New York. One bill would provide a sales tax exemption for the first $35,000 of retail value in the purchase of an EV. A second bill would set the State government on a path to converting it's fleet of passenger vehicles to zero emissions vehicles by 2030.

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