The Orange County Transportation Council has been working to identify trends in Electric Vehicle (EV) usage and opportunities to expand the infrastructure to support a growing demand for EVs. Leveraging available funding opportunities and expanding technologies can help create a safe, equitable and efficient network, while encouraging and enhancing the experience of owning EVs in Orange County.
INITIATIVES IN ORANGE COUNTY
The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) identifies the following cluster locations as areas to prioritize and optimize investment in EV infrastructure (EVSE Cluster Analysis Study, 2012): Downtowns, Retail Centers, Workplaces, Higher Education Campuses, Fleet and Freight Centers, Leisure Destinations, Regional Transit Centers, Medical Campuses, and Multi-family Housing Locations. Based on these identified locations and the details of the full study available here, the OCTC set out to create a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) toolbox in the Summer of 2018 that would combine and rank multiple available datasets for cluster locations in Orange County to more easily and efficiently identify areas that may be suitable for installing new EV charging stations. The result of the Potential Electric Vehicle Charging Station (PEVCS) suitability project was a map that visually displays geographic areas that may be suitable for siting electric vehicle charging stations (see below).
For more information on how Orange County is using this and other tools to support the expansion of charging station infrastructure across the County to meet the growing demand for EVs, check out THIS newsletter article from Edition VII, 2020 of the Planning Department's newsletter The Resource.
BEST PRACTICE AND GUIDELINES
Taking a holistic approach to siting and installing EV charging infrastructure to support the expanded use of EVs in NYS is becoming more accessible thanks to the work of some key supportive agencies. NYSERDA, working with numerous consultant agencies, has been proactive in providing a comprehensive list of resources for planners and municipalities to support EVs and EV charging station deployment through the ChargeNY page at https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/ChargeNY/Support-Electric.
For more information on EVs and EV charging stations follow the link above to access more resources, including best practices and guidance documents.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservations (NYSDEC) has a grant opportunity available through October 29, 2021 called the Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Vehicle Rebates for Municipalities Grant https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/administration_pdf/21zevcvfs.pdf The County pursued and was awarded the previous round of funding through this program for 3 new charging stations on County-owned properties and can assist in navigating the application process.
The recently developed EV Make-Ready Program is being offered through the Joint Utilities of New York. This new program is offered directly through the utility companies and could provide incentives to assist in covering up to 100% of the electric infrastructure costs associated with new non-residential EV charging stations for eligible projects. For more information visit https://jointutilitiesofny.org/ev/make-ready
The OCTC and Planning Department can also provide guidance and resources to encourage projects that advance electric car utilization in Orange County and across New York State. Contact OCTC Staff at OCTC@orangecountygov.com with questions or comments.