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Gov. Hochul Signs Bill To Support EV Drivers; New Law Restricts Homeowners’ Associations From Banning EV Charging Stations
By David Carlucci
Electric vehicles are the up-and-coming staple of the automotive industry – transporting us to work, school, and a greener future. However, as with every new technology, EVs must overcome some obstacles before being a mainstream commodity.
Unlike operators of gas-powered cars, electric vehicle drivers do not have the security of being within the immediate radius of a gas station. Driving long distances requires in-depth research of local charging stations and comprehensive power usage calculations. Some may not have a charging station anywhere near home and installing a private one is either too expensive or not allowed under many homeowners’ association bylaws.
Fortunately, the New York State legislature recently passed a law to relieve EV drivers of this stress.
At the end of November, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill to improve EV charging station accessibility. The new law restricts homeowners’ associations from prohibiting homeowners from installing personal EV charging stations on their property while simultaneously allowing HOAs to have a say on the installation method. Removing the barrier of homeowners’ association agreements, more than 3 million New York residents living in developments with HOAs will be able to purchase an EV and charge it on their own private property.
“It is not enough to encourage New Yorkers to buy electric – we must build green infrastructure that will drive New Yorkers to choose cleaner and greener modes of transportation,” said Governor Hochul, “My administration will continue to advance our zero-emission transportation goals, and this legislation will benefit our climate and the health of our communities for generations to come.”
The law is the newest companion to New York State’s comprehensive climate change response plan. In 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to draft the framework of New York’s ambitious efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses and achieve net-zero emissions. By 2030, New York plans to reduce emissions by 40 percent and utilize 70 percent renewable electricity, according to the Climate Act’s Draft Scoping Plan. New York hopes to reach 100 percent zero-emissions electricity within the following decade.
Transportation, especially passenger vehicles, make up a significant amount of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions and the Climate Act works to reduce that right off the bat. Ramping up sales of zero-emission light-duty vehicles is one of the initial action items within the scoping plan. However, EVs are not yet ready to be everyday household items for all New York residents; local infrastructure is lacking, and EVs are not affordable for all consumers.
Other state programs join the new law’s efforts to improve charging infrastructure across New York. The New York Power Authority’s EVolve NY program is investing $250 million into installing fast-charging EV stations throughout the state by 2025. In September, Hochul announced that NYPA installed more than 100 new charging stations. NYPA plans on reaching 140 new stations by the end of the year.
The Drive Clean Rebate program tackles the affordability issue by removing up to $2,000 off the price of electric cars for consumers. The program covers more than 60 different models of both hybrid and all-electric cars for individual consumers and organizations. Additionally, consumers obtain a Federal Tax Credit of up to $7,500 for purchasing an EV. Vehicles with an EPA all-electric range of more than 200 miles will be cut by $2,000, and those with less than 40 miles will be cut by $500.
So far, the combined efforts of Drive Clean, EVolve NY, and many other EV-oriented NY government programs have added 114,000 new electric vehicles and more than 10,000 charging stations across the state as of September 2022. This is just the beginning; there is plenty of opportunity for new policies to foster the growing electric vehicle industry.
David Carlucci consults organizations on navigating government and securing funding. He served for ten years in the New York Senate.