Huntington officials are set to install a public electric vehicle charging station at Town Hall as part of a statewide clean-energy initiative.
Town officials purchased the station to meet one of the conditions for inclusion in the state’s Clean Energy Communities initiative, which will make the town eligible to apply for $250,000 in state funding for future energy projects.
“I expect it [the charging station] is going to be installed in the next couple of months. I don’t have an exact date at this point,” said Terese Kinsley, the town’s chief sustainability officer.
The project was motivated, in part, by the town leasing a hybrid-electric Chevrolet Volt for use by its officials.
Eighty percent of the charging equipment purchase cost was covered by a Clean Vehicle and Infrastructure rebate from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Kinsley said.
“We decided ‘Well, we got the car, now we have to charge it,’ ” Kinsley said. “So one thing happened after another.”
Use of the charging station, which can charge two vehicles at a time, will be free to the public. It is compatible with all electric vehicles except Tesla models, Kinsley said. The town will consider adding a Tesla charger port to the station, but has not asked Tesla Inc. for assistance, she said.
The new station will be the town’s second charger location. A free five-vehicle charging station is operating at the South LIRR Parking Garage in Huntington Station.
Municipalities elsewhere on Long Island have installed electric vehicle charging stations on public properties, said Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable energy use. Raacke worked with East Hampton officials to install charging stations at the town’s airport and at Town Hall.
“Electric car charging stations are a crucial component of making electric vehicles practical and getting them to a point where they are widely used,” Raacke said. “And electric vehicles are a very important part of finding a solution to climate change.”
Huntington also is collaborating with six towns and Suffolk County in an initiative to establish a network of charging stations. While the effort has not been finalized, municipalities have secured a $625,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for the project.
“At a minimum, we will provide 32 stations,” said Erin Reilley, director for the Town of North Hempstead’s Office of Sustainability. “The partner municipalities in the project will be doing a planning study to determine the best locations for these stations.”
In addition to the vehicle charging station project, Huntington officials have streamlined the application process for solar installation permits and retrained workers in energy code enforcement to meet the requirements of being designated as a Clean Energy Community.
Electric cars in New York
- In March, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new electric vehicle campaign with a plan to install 450 vehicle charging stations across the state.
- Cuomo also released $3 million in rebates through the Environmental Protection Fund for local municipalities to purchase or lease zero-emission vehicles, including battery electric cars.
- Long Island currently has 112 publicly available electric vehicle charging stations.
- More than 1,600 electric vehicle charging stations have been installed across the New York, with a state government goal of having 3,000 by 2018.
Source: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, plugshare.com