Jonathan Ezor with his EV Mustang Mach-E on Tuesday in...

Jonathan Ezor with his EV Mustang Mach-E on Tuesday in West Hempstead. He switched from a plug-in hybrid when he wanted a little more zip. Credit: Howard Schnapp

When Jonathan Ezor took a ride in his fully electric American muscle car last July — an EV Mustang Mach-E — it was his first fully battery-operated car, complete with performance that outmatched anything he ever owned.

After two plug-in hybrid cars, the 56-year-old West Hempstead resident was ready for something with a little more pep.

“I have loved and continue to love my car. It is everything I wanted,” he said of his revamped classic Ford, which accelerates to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

Ezor reflects a growing number of fully electric car drivers on Long Island, now more prevalent than their plug-in hybrid counterparts, according to a report released Tuesday by Drive Electric Long Island. The group is a coalition of electric vehicle stakeholders including environmental advocates, PSEG Long Island, dealerships and automakers and the U.S. Green Building Council Long Island Chapter.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • On Long Island, battery electric vehicles surpassed the number of plug-in hybrids, according to a report released by Drive Electric Long Island.
  • Tesla continues to dominate the EV market in the region, reflecting 65% of all EV rebates in 2022, but there were also 21 brands and over 50 models of electric vehicle sold in Nassau and Suffolk, the report found.
  • For many, the price of EVs remains high, and there are continued concerns about charging accessibility, driving range and potential battery replacement, one expert said.

The report found that "battery electric vehicles have overtaken plug-in hybrid vehicles as the most numerous EVs on the road on Long Island.” Of the electric vehicles on Long Island, 61% are fully electric, versus 59% in the state.

The report found that Long Island had 28% of all the electric vehicles in the state, while having 15% of the state’s population.

There are several reasons more drivers are going green including more models to choose from, continued state and federal incentives, expanded charging infrastructure, and increased awareness, experts and the report say.

In addition to a $7,500 federal tax break for new vehicles that meet certain criteria, there is up to a $4,000 federal tax credit for used electric cars. New York also offers up to a $2,000 rebate on over 60 models, depending on the battery driving range.

And while Tesla continues to dominate the EV market in the region, reflecting 65% of all EV rebates in 2022, there were 21 brands and over 50 models of electric vehicle sold in Nassau and Suffolk, the report finds.

“Everybody knows somebody with a Tesla but that's not the whole story. People are buying other cars,” said Rosemary Mascali, chair of Drive Electric Long Island's education and outreach subcommittee. The study used data maintained by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and EvaluateNY, a tool that tracks EV stats.

Electric vehicles are still only a small share of all vehicles on the road. Currently only 1.64% of all registered passenger vehicles are electric on Long Island and they remain more prevalent in affluent North Shore and East End neighborhoods, according to the report. 

The three most popular EV models on Long Island are the Tesla Model 3 battery electric vehicle, the Tesla Model Y and the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid.

In the last six months of last year, the number of electric vehicle original registrations shot up to nearly 6% of all new car registrations with over 20 of the region’s communities surpassing twice that percentage, the report finds. The top five communities with the highest EV growth are South Jamesport, Lake Success, Kings Point, Albertson and Great Neck Village. In those communities, electric vehicles made up 33% to 18% of all new vehicle registrations.

As of Dec. 31,  there were 35,426 electric vehicles registered on Long Island, according to the report. That figure has since increased. As of February, there were 37,652 EV cars registered in the region and 136,587 in the state, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The same factors that have driven the EV surge can also be perceived as hurdles to continued expansion. For many, the price of an electric vehicle remains high, and there are continued concerns about charging accessibility, driving range and potential battery replacement, according to Stephanie Valdez Streaty, research and development director for Cox Automotive, an automotive services and technology provider.

The report notes that while drivers on Long Island have access to more public DC chargers and Type 2 electric vehicle charging ports, many of the devices are older and take longer to charge.

“I think when you think about those barriers, those are some of the things that need to be mitigated, to really continue to drive adoption around electrification,” said Valdez Streaty.

The headline on this story has been updated to reflect fully electric vehicles have surpassed plug-in hybrids on Long Island.

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