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More electric vehicle charging stations coming to the Southern Tier

Tesla supercharger station Painted Post, New York.
Natalie Abruzzo
Tesla supercharger station Painted Post, New York.

Five municipalities in the Southern Tier were awarded the 2022 Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Municipal Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure grant. It is an effort to move New York closer to zero emissions by 2035.

The local areas awarded nearly $740,000 through the state-wide program include Chemung County, village of Fleischmanns, village of Sidney, Tompkins County and village of Trumansburg.

Electric vehicle ownership is growing in the area. The Southern Tier has 4,284 registered EVs, with the Toyota Prius Prime and Toyota RAV4 Prime taking the top two spots, according to New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“We're seeing recent trends in the auto industry, greater consumer demand, incentives for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids,” said the director of the Elmira Chemung Transportation Council, Kevin Meindl. “And so we're really just trying to have a contemporary, modern transportation system to serve not just county residents, but also travelers through our region.”

Chemung County will receive $500,000, the largest amount awarded, because the two locations for its charging stations are in disadvantaged communities: the city of Elmira and Chemung County Fairgrounds in Horseheads.

New York considers disadvantaged communities those with high pollution, low incomes and environmental vulnerabilities.

“Electric vehicles that don't just reduce greenhouse gas emissions but they're also decreasing particulate matter,” explained Meindl. “And again, seeing the high asthma and COPD emergency department visits, this may improve air quality by again, kind of encouraging or incentivizing greater adoption of electric vehicles.”

Chemung County will install two direct current fast charger (DCFC) pedestals. Fast chargers can charge EVs in less than an hour.

Electric vehicle charging stations also offer economic incentives to the local area.

The village of Sidney, located in Delaware County, wants to improve traveler traffic to stimulate local businesses.

“My hope is, while, the cars are charging or the vehicles are charging that people can go spend time at our local shops or go get some coffee at one of our coffee shops or one of our restaurants,” expressed Sidney Mayor Raymond Baker.

Sidney will receive more than $80,000 to install two fast chargers.

Both Sidney and Chemung County will hire contractors to install their charging stations once they receive their grant monies from the state.

Level 2 public electric vehicle charger installed in 2018 in the village of Montour Falls.
Natalie Abruzzo
Level 2 public electric vehicle charger installed in 2018 in the village of Montour Falls.

The village of Fleischmanns, also in Delaware County, will receive more than $7,500 for two Level 2 charging ports that were approved by its board and installed by Apex Solar Power prior to winning the grant, according to its mayor, Winifred Zubin.

“We applied for this money approximately two years ago. And the funding cycle ran out, and we were determined to continue with this process,” explained Zubin. “So, we went ahead and contracted for the installation and asked to be considered in the next round of funding. The next round of funding was recently opened and we were eligible for that funding.”

Level 2 chargers take several hours to charge EVs.

A $51,000 grant award is listed for the village of Trumansburg in Tompkins County for four Level 2 charging ports and two fast chargers. It’s not clear where the chargers will be located. Requests for information and comment from village leadership were not returned.

Tompkins County will receive $52,500 for rebates associated with seven battery electric vehicles. It is the third such rebate the county has been awarded through this grant program since 2016.

The village of Montour Falls in Schuyler County is still waiting to install its two Level 2 chargers and one fast charger due to what its mayor, James Ryan, said is a supply chain issue.

“Originally, this was supposed to be installed in late fall and got pushed to January, and now it's been pushed out again,” said Ryan. “We may see maybe mid-summer. At this point, we're just waiting on the supply chain.”

Montour Falls received its grant in 2021 for more than $104,000. According to Ryan, one will be installed at the Municipal Marina and Campground, while the other will be installed in a public parking lot at the corner of Main and Owego streets.

The DEC grants awarded more than $16 million in electric vehicle purchase rebates and charger grants across the state since 2016, according to a press release.

Information about where to find electric vehicle chargers can be found on the EvaluateNY website.