DiNapoli: Installation of electric vehicle chargers by the New York Power Authority is years behind schedule

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has failed to install electric vehicle (EV) chargers where they are needed most for the nearly 50,000 electric vehicles registered in New York, leaving nearly half of the counties in the state without any charging stations installed by NYPA, according to an audit. released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Compared to what was promised, the rollout of electric vehicle chargers has been a disappointment so far,” DiNapoli said. “Since encouraging more drivers to switch to electric cars is part of the state’s strategy to reduce emissions, we have a long way to go. NYPA needs to consider our recommendations, deliver on its commitments, and move this agenda in the right direction. »

The state’s plan to increase the number of public electric vehicle charging stations was intended to spur increased use of electric vehicles, reduce carbon emissions and address the climate emergency. The Charge NY program was announced in 2013 as a statewide network of up to 3,000 public and business charging stations to be ready in five years. This was followed in 2018 by Charge NY 2.0, a plan to install 10,000 public charging stations by the end of 2021. That same year, NYPA also announced EVolve NY, a $250 million project to installing high-speed chargers at airports and along major highways. . Despite allocating significant funding, NYPA did not meet the goals of its EV program.

As of June 2021, there were 46,608 registered electric vehicles in New York, but NYPA had only installed 277 public electric vehicle charging ports, or one for every 168 registered electric vehicles in New York. It had installed 221 other workplace charging ports at its own facilities and at facilities operated by companies powered by NYPA economic development programs. These chargers are only available to employees.

Ports are not located where they are needed most. Counties with a high number of electric vehicles have relatively few charging stations, while some counties have few electric vehicles but a high number of charging ports.

  • Suffolk County has 7,916 registered electric vehicles, more than any other county and about 17% of the state’s total. It has three NYPA public charging stations, or 1.2% of the total, and a single charger for 2,639 electric cars.
  • Nassau County has 5,947 registered electric vehicles, or about 13% of the state’s total, but only five NYPA public charging ports, or 1.8% of the total or one port for every 1,189 electric cars.
  • Westchester, where NYPA is based, has more NYPA public ports than any county. It has 4,844 registered electric vehicles, or about 10% of the state’s total, and 44 public ports, or about 16% of the total.
  • Erie County has 1,898 registered electric vehicles, or about 4.1% of the state’s total, and 42 NYPA public charging ports, or one public port for every 45 vehicles (about 15% of the total).
  • 30 counties with 6,189 electric vehicles do not have public charging ports placed by NYPA.

The 2022 State of the State Report laid out a plan for New York to deploy an additional $175 million over the next five years for electric vehicle charging stations with federal funds. To ensure that additional funding allocations are invested wisely, agencies involved in the rollout need to be better prepared with effective strategies to promote EV use among New Yorkers, as outlined in audit recommendations .

DiNapoli’s audit also determined that:

  • Most ports (431) are Level 2, which can charge a vehicle for 60 miles of driving in one hour. There were only 28 high-speed chargers at 18 sites in September 2020.
  • None of EVolve NY’s Phase 1 projects, including the installation of 200 high-speed chargers, have been completed by the end-2019 deadline.
  • As of March 5, 2021, NYPA has only installed 29 high-speed chargers at seven sites, putting it on track to finish more than two years behind schedule.
  • The NYPA has done little to promote EVs and EV chargers to its customers, including local governments.
  • NYPA did not use billing data to determine which locations are popular and could benefit from more ports.
  • NYPA’s own inventory of the magazines it installed was inconsistent and sometimes incorrect.

The DiNapoli audit recommended to NYPA:

  • Set and announce targets for expected results to track achievements over specific time periods.
  • Create a marketing strategy to increase awareness and educate drivers on the benefits of owning electric vehicles.
  • Incorporate EV usage data into its program to help promote the installation of additional chargers.
  • Work with customers to deploy electric vehicle charging stations by encouraging local agencies, authorities and governments to install charging ports and informing the public that high-speed electric vehicle chargers are available.

In its response, NYPA broadly agreed with the audit’s recommendations to improve the program, although it disagreed with the findings regarding placement of charging stations being insufficient to meet the needs of customers. consumers. The agency’s full answer is in the audit.

Map of NYPA Public Charging Ports

Management and operating practices selected by the New York Power Authority

Track state and local government spending on Open Book New York. As part of State Comptroller DiNapoli’s open data initiative, search millions of state and local government financial records, track state contracts, and find frequently requested data.

About Irene J. O'Donnell

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