(The Center Square) – The sight of electric vehicle charging stations could become more commonplace across all corners of New York state, based on a pair of bills working their way through both chambers of the legislative branch.
State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, D-Albany, and state Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, recently announced tweaks to a pair of bills aimed at building out EV infrastructure. The bills were first introduced in January.
A3179 is in the Assembly’s Governmental Operations Committee, while S7406 is in the Senate’s Rules Committee.
Fahy and Krueger officially announced the latest iteration of the bills Oct. 13 in statements, though the amendments were introduced in the state Assembly on Sept. 27 and the state Senate on Sept. 29.
The bills come as the clock ticks on a number of timelines proponents say are overtures toward fighting climate change and reducing reliance on traditional fuel and energy sources.
State officials had previously set a target of having 850,000 registered zero-emission vehicles by 2025, as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act that was passed into law in 2019.
The most up-to-date statistics, however, indicate the bench mark is lagging with 56,000 ZEVs on record statewide at the end of 2020.
Fahy said she introduced A3179 in the Assembly with the bench marks within the CLCPA in mind.
“It’s projected the state needs 73,000 Level 2 plugs and 2,600 fast-charging plugs by 2025 to support other transportation-sector targets, yet currently only about 600 fast-charging plugs and roughly 6,000 Level 2’s have been rolled out,” Fahy said in her Oct. 13 statement.
She added, “By requiring more EV capable and ready charging stations across our building stock, we’re placing New York on a fast track to meeting its ambitious climate and emission goals.”
Krueger said she agreed to partner with Fahy with the legislation because she believes New York state is “behind the curve” in combating climate change.
“The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our state, and many parallel approaches will be required to transform it,” Krueger said.
Fahy and Krueger’s sponsored bills include a number of specific calculations to demarcate when EV infrastructure would be placed.
For example, new and renovated covered one- to three-family homes with off-street parking would be required to have at least one spot dedicated to an EV charging station. Multifamily residential sites and commercial buildings would have more specific calculations based on building size.
The amended EV bills come on the heels of zero-emission vehicle legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law last month.
Hochul’s actions set the stage for a 2035 timeline calling for all new passenger cars and trucks sold within the state to be zero-emissions beginning that year.
In the Republican minority of both branches of the Legislature, there have been calls for a more measured approach to rolling out renewable energy options as the widespread alternative.
In May, for example, state Assemblymember Phil Palmesano, R-Corning, introduced legislation calling on several state agencies, including the Public Service Commission, to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all renewable energy systems.
“History has shown us time and again that attempts to capitalize upon and/or mandate the use of emergent technologies always resulted in belated realizations that such technological developments aren’t the unalloyed goods they were originally purported to be,” Palmesano wrote in a legislative memo.
Palmesano’s bill, A7524, is currently in the hands of the Assembly’s Energy Committee.