Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that $2.8 million is now available to help municipalities purchase or lease zero-emission vehicles for fleet use and to install public charging stations. Administered by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and announced during the week-long celebration of Earth Day 2021, the grants are part of New York’s commitment to support municipal efforts to meet the challenges posed by climate change.
“New York is at the leading the way in combating climate change with new, innovative actions that address every sector of the green energy economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “One of our keys to success will be making it easier for all New Yorkers to drive electric vehicles, in turn reducing harmful emissions from transportation. This significant investment will support municipalities in their efforts to purchase zero-emission vehicles and adopt clean energy practices while also advancing our nation-leading climate agenda.”
Up to $300,000 in rebates are available for municipalities that purchase —or lease for a minimum of 36 months —zero emission vehicles from eligible dealerships in New York. Plug-in hybrid, all-electric, or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are eligible for rebates of up to $7,500 per vehicle, depending on the electric range of the vehicle and provided they were placed into municipal service on or after March 1, 2020.
In addition, up to $2.5 million is available for municipalities to install hydrogen filling station components or electric vehicle chargers, such as fast chargers, in locations that maximize access by the public. A variable local match of zero to 20 percent of the total project cost is required based on the community’s median household income. The maximum grant amount for any location is $250,000 and $500,000 to any one municipality.
Applications for the 2021 Zero-emission Vehicle Rebate Program and the 2021 Zero-emission Vehicle Infrastructure Grant Program are available through the New York State Grants Gateway. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting them on a rolling basis from now through October 29, or until funding is exhausted.
To further support the state’s transition to cleaner transportation options, the FY 2022 Enacted Budget amends the definition of eligible infrastructure projects under Climate Smart Communities clean vehicle projects to clarify that funds must be used for publicly available sources of charging and to explicitly authorize the use for fast chargers.
The program further demonstrates New York State’s sustained commitment to supporting municipal efforts to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change. DEC has awarded more than $4.8 million for municipalities to purchase electric vehicles and install charging stations since the inception of the program in 2016.
Local governments are critical partners in meeting the ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions required by the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The zero-emission vehicles program will be administered by the DEC and funded through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “All New Yorkers stand to benefit from our state’s transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future and all of our communities can help achieve New York’s ambitious climate goals. Today’s announcement of funding to help transition municipal fleets and install EV infrastructure will help provide communities across the state with the resources they need to help our state succeed.”
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Providing municipalities across the state with essential resources for growing the number of clean fleet vehicles allows them to take a leadership role in shrinking their carbon footprint by embracing alternatives that foster cleaner communities and create healthier places to live. Today’s announcement is further evidence of New York’s commitment to rapidly scaling up zero-emissions vehicles along with the associated charging infrastructure as part of a comprehensive clean transportation strategy that is reducing statewide emissions and helping to protect our environment for generations to come.
Governor Cuomo’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 achieving 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.
This agenda builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy, including more than $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2019, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, 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 to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.