New State Analysis Shows Electric Vehicles Could Deliver as Much as $5 Billion in Societal Benefits by 2030

April 23, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced New Yorkers are buying electric vehicles at a record pace, with sales increasing by 63 percent in 2018. The number of electric vehicles on the road jumped to 36,854 in 2018, up from 24,551 in 2017. A new report also released today provides a new cost-benefit analysis showing increased deployment of electric vehicles in New York State could provide up to $5.1 billion in societal benefits, including monetary savings for both electric vehicle drivers and utility customers. Increasing the use of electric vehicles supports Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal, a nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda that puts New York on a path to carbon neutrality and achieving the state's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

"As we continue to expand our charging infrastructure across the state, we are making it easier and more affordable than ever to drive an electric vehicle in New York," Governor Cuomo said. "The spike in sales of electric vehicles in 2018 underscores not only the benefits of these vehicles but also the positive impact our Charge NY initiatives are having on our ability to move to greener power."

"We're continuing to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure in communities across the state to increase and promote their use," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This boost in sales shows that our initiatives are working and making a difference. We are committed to supporting charging stations and other resources to make it easier to travel with electric vehicles and advance our aggressive clean energy goals."

The Governor also announced a new fast charger hub at John F. Kennedy International Airport that will enable taxis, ride sharing vehicles, buses and other electric vehicles to charge in 20 minutes or less at the major international transportation destination.

The electric vehicles analysis, funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, assessed the benefits and costs of meeting New York's goal to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road to approximately 850,000 by 2025 and two million by 2030. Societal benefits consider the direct, monetary benefits that will flow to New York State as a result of the transition from gasoline powered vehicles to electric vehicles, as well as the indirect benefits of reduced carbon emissions. The analysis reviewed electric vehicle adoption from the point of view of electric vehicle owners, other utility customers and society as a whole, and whether the benefits and costs were different in three regions of the state - New York City/Westchester, Long Island and Upstate New York - by taking into account various electricity rates and charging infrastructure availability.

The findings include:  

  • Electric vehicle incentives such as the state's successful Drive Clean Rebate and federal tax credit are vital to sustaining an increase in purchases, accounting for between 20 and 35 percent of the total benefit to electric vehicle drivers.
  • Societal benefits vary by region but are maximized when utilities encourage charging during off-peak hours, rising from $2.8 billion statewide to $5.1 billion when off-peak charging is encouraged.
  • Societal benefits increase by about $600 million statewide by expanding the number of fast charging stations because the cost savings from more electric vehicle use more than offsets the additional cost of these stations.
  • Charging infrastructure costs account for a significant portion of the societal cost of electric vehicle adoption, about $6 billion through 2030. Reducing these costs through innovation or other means would increase the benefits of electric vehicle adoption.
  • In every region, the increase in utility bill revenues from additional electric vehicles is larger than the cost of supplying electricity to the cars, by as much as $4,500 per vehicle. The report modeled scenarios that found utilities could invest in expanding electric vehicle adoption while still providing cost savings to their customers.

The analysis comes on the heels of New Yorkers buying more electric vehicles in one year than ever before - more than 16,000 electric vehicles were sold in 2018, about 60 percent more than in 2017. The increase is due in part to numerous initiatives launched under Charge NY, Governor Cuomo's initiative to get more electric cars and trucks on the road and include:

  • EVolve NY, an initiative to address market gaps in charging infrastructure to accelerate electric vehicle adoption and deployment of fast chargers in high-traffic corridors across the state. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has committed up to $250 million through 2025 for this initiative. The new JFK chargers are to be designed and installed with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as part of the EVolve NY program. The new airport charging hub will include 13 150kw direct current (DC) fast chargers creating the largest non-Tesla charging hub in the country. Ten of the JFK chargers will be installed in a cellphone parking lot for use by the public, rideshare drivers, taxis, and the Port Authority's own fleets. Three other chargers will be in an adjacent lot and used exclusively by Port Authority electric buses. This advance will add to the medium-speed (Level 2) chargers that are already in the airport's indoor parking garages. The EVolve program also will deploy up to 200 fast chargers, enabling drivers to charge in as little as 20 minutes, to more than 50 locations along the New York State Thruway, other major traffic corridors and in five New York major cities.
  • The Drive Clean Rebate, which provides New York residents with a rebate of up to $2,000 for the lease or purchase of a new electric car. NYSERDA has already provided more than 14,000 rebates under this $70 million initiative.
  • Charge Ready NY, which provides $4,000 per vehicle charging port for public or private employers, building owners, municipalities and non-profit organizations to install Level 2 charging stations. NYSERDA is providing $5 million for this initiative for a total of 1,250 new charging ports.
  • Rebates for municipalities for the purchase of lease of electric vehicles. The Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) has $300,000 available for this program.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "This analysis makes it clear that we are on the right track outlined in Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal and shows New York is pursuing the right path by increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state while supporting new, innovative ways to reduce associated costs. Through New York's multi-pronged efforts, we will continue to invest in electric vehicles to meet our aggressive greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and advance our clean energy future."

NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "With more than 13 million passenger car trips around the JFK airport annually, the airport's new high-speed charging hub has the potential to serve EV drivers within a 200 mile-radius of New York City. NYPA's EVolve NY initiative will make it possible for electric vehicle drivers to travel our state from the airport to the Adirondacks. NYPA is investing in EV infrastructure all across the state so that driving clean becomes the smart choice for more consumers and we, together, can help reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions and positively impact our environment and climate now and into the future."

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Commissioner Rick Cotton said, "As part of our relentless commitment to sustainability, the Port Authority continues to take strong actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the environment. This new fast-charging hub at Kennedy Airport will make it easier for our customers, employees and on-airport partners to seamlessly integrate electric vehicles into their daily life as we move to a clean energy future."

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "The significant increase in New Yorkers driving electric vehicles is a clear sign that people are recognizing that making the switch to an EV is a great way to save money and fight climate change.  Governor Cuomo's plan to achieve carbon neutrality is bold, but it's doable, and New York continues to lead the way by making it easier for drivers to plug in at charging stations across the state. DEC will continue to support these efforts and our investments to ensure clean energy is a reality in New York."

Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "We are proud to support Governor Cuomo's mission to make it easier and more affordable to drive an EV in New York by investing in clean transportation and by increasing the number of electric-vehicle charging stations at Thruway service areas, Welcome Centers and Thruway-owned commuter lots. By expanding access to fast-charging stations across the state, EV owners will be able to travel our 570-mile Thruway system without worrying how far their next charge will be."

Assembly Member Michael Cusick, chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, said, "I am proud of the progress New York has made in embracing electric vehicles and today's announcement further demonstrates how important it is. As costs come down and infrastructure is built, I believe New York demand will continue to drive technological advancement and economic viability in this industry."

The transportation sector is one of the largest producers of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in New York. Compared to gasoline-powered cars, electric cars are more energy efficient and cost about 50 to 70 percent less to operate per mile. As of December 31, 2018, there were more than 3,200 electric vehicle charging stations installed statewide.

For more information about Charge NY 2.0, visit the Charge NY 2.0 web page or NYPA's EV services web page.

The complete cost-benefit analysis can be accessed here.

New York State's Green New Deal
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Green New Deal, the nation's leading clean energy and jobs agenda, will aggressively put New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality This initiative will provide for a just transition to clean energy, spurring the growth of the green economy and mandating New York's power be 100 percent clean and carbon-free by 2040, one of the most aggressive goals in the U.S. The cornerstone of this newly proposed mandate is a significant increase of New York's successful Clean Energy Standard to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

As part of the unprecedented ramp-up of renewable energy, New York has already invested $2.9 billion into 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state as it significantly increases its clean energy targets, such as: quadrupling New York's offshore wind target to a nation-leading 9,000 megawatts by 2035; doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 megawatts by 2025; and deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030. To support this ambitious work, NY Green Bank intends to use its expertise in overcoming financing gaps to foster greater environmental impacts per public dollar by raising over $1 billion in third party funds to expand climate financing availability across New York and the rest of North America.