North Hempstead officials are to lead an effort to build a corridor of electric vehicle charging stations across eight Long Island towns.
New York State last week approved $625,000 for the project, which includes Suffolk County as a partner. North Hempstead, which already has one public charging station and others for municipal vehicles, will coordinate the effort. The stations are planned for sites accessible from the Long Island Expressway.
"It's not enough to have an electric charging station here and there without a definite route for people to count on to travel," North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said Monday. "This gives people the security of knowing, should they invest in electric cars, there's a definite place for them to charge."
In addition to North Hempstead, the towns of Babylon, Brookhaven, Hempstead, Huntington, Islip, Oyster Bay and Smithtown propose to build two charging stations each. A feasibility study must be conducted, according to a state description of the projects that received funding.
Thomas Devaney, North Hempstead's grant coordinator, said the study will help determine which locations are best for the project. Town officials said the goal for the stations is to not only be just off the LIE, but near businesses, restaurants, or malls, so motorists have things to do while their cars charge, which can take between 20 and 40 minutes, Devaney said. "You need something to do when you charge the car," he said. "It's not like filling up gas within five minutes," Devaney said.
The funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority also is to be used for signs near highway exits to identify the stations. The award was part of $82 million granted to Long Island projects by the state.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends installing public charging stations in areas that may have a high concentration of electric vehicles, including shopping centers, airports, hotels, government offices, businesses, city parking lots and garages.
"As we're trying to find efficiencies in economy, we're going to need to have more and more of these collaborations," Bosworth said.