Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of the “DRIve EV Downtown” program that will bring electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations to downtown areas in New York State that are undergoing revitalization and development efforts. Amsterdam in Montgomery County is the first of five cities that will deploy EVolve NY fast chargers as part of the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), making EV driving a more accessible option for Amsterdamians, all New Yorkers and visitors. The program is helping to advance the state’s nation-leading clean energy goals, including decarbonizing the transportation sector and reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050.
“New York continues to be a national leader in growing the utilization of electric vehicles, and placing charging stations throughout the state will allow more people to recognize the benefits of tying clean transportation initiatives to efforts that bolster economic activity in our downtowns,” said Governor Hochul. “Everyone benefits from getting more zero-emission vehicles on the roads alongside investment and development in our downtowns. This will make our communities healthier both environmentally and economically.”
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the Department of State collaborated to make Amsterdam the first of five initial charger deployments in DRI communities. Similar hubs will be installed in Utica (Oneida County), Oswego (Oswego County), Geneva (Ontario County), and Middletown (Orange County) over the next few months. The Amsterdam site is the 10th addition to NYPA’s EVolveNY fast charging network, which is bringing high-speed open access charging to key locations along primary travel corridors and in urban areas to encourage the adoption of EVs. The statewide network currently has nearly 40 charging units.
NYPA Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “Providing fast charging options in our state’s downtowns will make it easier for residents to help reduce emissions from the transportation sector and for municipalities to contribute to the advancement of the state’s ambitious climate action goals. NYPA’s EVolve NY charging infrastructure program is a perfect fit for downtown revitalization efforts and is a great way to expand public awareness about how easy and convenient it is to drive electric.”
The clean energy initiative supports New York’s Climate Act (the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act), the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, which establishes bold targets for decreasing climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from the transportation sector.
The fast chargers can be used by any make or model of electric vehicle and can recharge most of the battery capacity in as little as 20 minutes. NYPA will fund, install, own and operate two EV fast chargers per selected location in DRI communities in the state’s Regional Economic Development Council regions.
Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “Downtown revitalization and clean energy go hand-in-hand. Amsterdam is demonstrating that clean energy infrastructure can be seamlessly woven into the fabric of a city’s revitalization efforts. The Department of State is energized by our partnership with Amsterdam and the New York Power Authority to bring fast EV charging to Amsterdam’s downtown, just a short distance from the Thruway. Through this innovative collaboration, New York is building a comprehensive charging network, which is critical to meeting our state’s nation-leading climate goals and to supporting sustainable downtown development.”
The DRI, launched in 2016, aims to accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhoods to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all ten regions of the state. The Amsterdam DRI area spans the Mohawk River and includes the Northern historic downtown area and new Southside downtown areas that have emerged as the city continues to grow and evolve, especially with the new pedestrian bridge which offers crossing from one side of the river to the other. The area contains mixed-use residential and commercial spaces, a new assisted living facility, several established and new businesses, and many park and recreation amenities. The City of Amsterdam seeks to attract investment in its developable land and buildings, and has identified potential major projects at the four points of the compass to anchor revitalization.
The Amsterdam site has two 150kW Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC) stations and are equipped with both fast charging connectors, Combined Charging System (CCS) and CHAdeMO, so all electric vehicles, including Tesla cars with an adapter, can plug in and charge. One parking space is ADA accessible and the “pull-through” layout of the chargers will allow electric vehicles with small trailers, including boat trailers, to charge at this site.
Congressman Paul Tonko said, “Building out our electric vehicle infrastructure is essential to meeting our clean energy goals and cutting pollution in in the transportation sector—the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. I am proud to help lead the effort in Congress to expand publicly accessible EV charging options, and I recently advanced several key EV infrastructure provisions as part of our Build Back Better agenda that will complement the investments being made by New York State. I’m delighted that Amsterdam will be a part of that critical effort to expand our EV development. My thanks to all involved in this worthy project that will benefit residents and support a clean energy future.”
Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “The transportation sector is our largest source of climate pollution and Amsterdam is leading the way in efforts to tie critically-needed EV charging infrastructure into downtown revitalization — a boost for the environment and the local economy. Having this convenient and centrally-located electrification infrastructure in our backyard will help accelerate the transition to cleaner mobility here in Amsterdam while encouraging visitors passing through our area to patronize Montgomery County businesses before getting back on the road. I commend the New York Power Authority, Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti, and all involved for advancing this build-out of EV charging infrastructure, which will help New York meet its goals of a greener, emission-free future.”
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, “Amsterdam is a leader, hosting New York State’s first high-speed charger installed through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, setting the example for other communities in the state to follow. Fast chargers located in downtown areas and right off the main thoroughfares of our state make it convenient and easy for more New Yorkers and visitors alike to drive zero emissions vehicles that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. City residents, commuters, travelers passing through the Mohawk Valley, and those who are heading to the Adirondacks on Route 30 can make a fast stop to charge up while doing their part to contribute to a greener and cleaner community.”
Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti said, “As Amsterdam has revitalization plans moving forward for every major section of our City, the incorporation of EV charging stations in each initiative will be essential to attracting and maintaining the residents and businesses we hope will settle in and rejuvenate these sections. This is why we are so pleased to integrate the “DRIve EV Downtown” collaboration with our City’s DRI.”
Laurie Poltynski, Regional Director for National Grid, said, “National Grid is proud to continuously support New York’s EVolve NY program and the state’s goal of 800 new EV fast charging stations by 2025 by providing over $137,000 for these stations here today. New York utilities, including National Grid, recently launched one of the largest EV programs in the country. National Grid plans to install about 16,000 charging ports across upstate New York. The program will fund up to 100% of the electric infrastructure costs associated with the new stations, such as recently installed plugs at Veterans Park in Amsterdam last spring.”
New York State is making numerous efforts and investments to electrify the transportation sector and reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation setting a goal for all new passenger cars and trucks sold in New York to be zero-emissions by 2035. Supporting Charge NY, a New York State initiative to get more electric vehicles on the road, other EV charging and deployment initiatives and programs are designed to get 850,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. Under New York State’s Drive Clean Rebate program, more than 48,000 rebates have been issued totaling more than $61 million and more than 100,000 electric vehicles have been sold in New York State.
Bumper Sticker “Drive EV in NYS” Youth Art Contest
To help publicize the “DRIve EV Downtown” chargers in the city and promote driving electric in New York State, NYPA’s EVolve NY program and its Environmental Justice department today also launched a “Drive EV” bumper sticker contest. Young people from a local youth organization will work with graphic designers from Amsterdam-based sticker company Sticker Mule to design a bumper or car sticker that promotes EV driving. The winning design will be printed by Sticker Mule. The bumper sticker can then be distributed at local community public events and EVolve NY e-mobility events through 2022. NYPA’s Environmental Justice department, its EVolve NY program leads, and the DOS will review submissions and pick the design that best helps them publicize EV driving in downtown Amsterdam, in downtowns across New York State, and in general. The youth will also learn about e-mobility through a curriculum that NYPA’s Environmental Justice department has developed that is being shared with similar groups throughout the state.
NYPA’s EVolve NY initiative plans to install up to 100 chargers across New York State by the end of 2021, which will give New York the third largest open-access (available to all EVs) 150kW+ fast charging network in the U.S. Once the EVolve NY buildout phase is complete, New Yorkers will be able to drive any EV across the state with fast chargers capable of recharging their vehicles in 15-30 minutes located every 50 miles or less.
Other EVolve NY sites operating throughout the state include John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGrangeville, Oneonta, Syracuse, Watertown, Malone, Schroon Lake, Fairport and now Schodack in Rensselaer County. Four more hubs are scheduled to come to Stewart’s Shops locations by the end of the year — in Moreau, Clifton Park and Latham in the Capital Region, and in Keene in the North Country.
New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2019, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.
About the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
The Downtown Revitalization Initiative launched in 2016 to accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhoods in all ten regions of the state to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment. The initiative represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation.
In the first four years of the program, the state committed $400 million to invest in downtowns that are ripe for revitalization and have the potential to become magnets for redevelopment, business, job creation, greater economic and housing diversity, and opportunity. The fifth round of the DRI will have an additional $200 million commitment. Participating communities are nominated by the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown’s potential for transformation. Each community is awarded at least $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community’s vision for revitalization and leverage additional private and public investments.
Downtown redevelopment plays a critical role in the State’s nation-leading efforts to reverse climate change and promote climate justice by creating walkable, bikeable and transit-accessible communities that significantly reduce automobile use and greenhouse gas emissions. The DRI also supports the State’s Health Across All Policies/Age-Friendly NY initiative by creating more opportunities for outside recreation and exercise; offering safe, accessible public spaces for social interaction, which improves mental health; and expanding access to fresh, nutritious food, particularly in underserved communities.
The initiative is headed by New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development, and state Homes and Community Renewal.
NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.