New York Invests $3.5M in Effort to quicken Electric-Car Use 

With its eye on cutting greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, state offers research and development funding to help fight climate change.

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Looking to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo this week unveiled a $3.5 million investment in technology to speed up electric-car use in the state.

"Clean cars are the way of the future, and with a tremendous increase in the number of electric vehicles sold this year, it is clear New Yorkers support efforts to combat climate change," the governor, a Democrat, said in a statement released Thursday.

The funds are being made available to incentivize research and development to accelerate the use of electric vehicles, cut the cost of installing and operating charging stations, and offer recommendations on how they can be used for grid resiliency, Cuomo's office said.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will oversee the effort, intended to explore ways of reducing the impact of charging vehicles on the grid, looking at how vehicles can be integrated into buildings to provide backup power, or how to manage electric-vehicle charging at peak times.

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Currently, electric vehicles use power from the grid to charge. However, fully charged vehicles can also return power to the grid, which can help provide resiliency during power outages or during peak times, such as hot summer days, the news release said.

The transportation sector is responsible for 40 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in the state, and compared to gas-powered cars, electric cars are more energy efficient and cost about 50 to 70 percent less to operate per mile, according to the governor's office.

The move follows up on a $70 million rebate program that has already provided more than $3 million in rebates to New Yorkers for buying or leasing electric vehicles, Cuomo's office said.

As of Nov. 1, there were about 23,000 electric vehicles registered in New York.