The New York Power Authority Board of Trustees approved $1.1 million in additional funding to help New York’s municipal and rural electric cooperative systems bring more hybrid and electric vehicles into their fleets. The additional financial assistance, available through the Municipal and Rural Cooperative Electric Utilities Electric-Drive Vehicle Program, will expand a long-running clean energy partnership that encourages electric vehicle use and reduces greenhouse gas emissions across New York State.
The NYPA funding provides zero-interest loans to the Power Authority’s municipal and rural electric cooperative system customers for the purchase of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles for use in their fleets, as well as associated battery charging equipment. Purchases often include passenger vehicles, pickup trucks, off-road specialty vehicles and heavy-duty utility bucket trucks. The funds are then recovered from customers over a period of up to three years through a surcharge on their NYPA electric bills.
NYPA began the Municipal and Rural Cooperative Electric Utilities Electric-Drive Vehicle Program in 2003. In total, 86 vehicles have been placed with 25 cities, towns and villages across the state. This additional funding brings the current total allocated for the program to $12 million.
The 51 municipal electric and rural electric cooperative utility systems have been NYPA customers since the Niagara Power Project began generating power in 1961, when approximately 765-megawatts (MW) of low-cost Niagara hydropower were legislatively mandated for their use.
NYPA reserves 54 MW of that hydropower to promote economic development within those municipal and cooperative service territories. Power from the reserve is allocated by the NYPA Board of Trustees to individual systems to meet the increased electric load resulting from eligible new or expanding businesses in their service area. Currently, the economic development program supports more than 6,150 jobs around the state.
Through NYPA’s EVolve NY program, the Authority is creating a fast-charging network across the state to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. More than 150 chargers, open to the public, are being installed along major interstate corridors, in five major cities and at New York City airports by the end of 2021.
This announcement comes as the White House announced a string of Executive Orders which sets the goal to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or a fuel cell electric vehicle. The Executive Order also kicks off development of long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards.
Owner-operators and small fleets looking to expand to electric vehicles but unsure of where to begin should explore EVrinda, an aggregation platform that brings qualified customers, innovative financiers, utilities, and third party vehicle and charger providers to develop and implement customized business models to accelerate fleet electrification.