By: Christian Okolski
Whenever the practicality of electric vehicles is debated, the issue of range anxiety and the possibility of being stranded on the road with no battery charge is always a critique. So naturally, as governments try to promote clean transportation and bolster electric vehicle markets, there has been a significant push to improve charging infrastructure, and that is exactly what New York has been doing. Just last Wednesday, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) awarded EV Connect with an encouraging $1,568,108 contract to deploy more than 100 charging stations across the State.
The deal between NYPA and EV Connect should be no big surprise. Two weeks ago, New York and seven other states released a Multi-State Zero-Emission Vehicle Action Plan with the goal of placing 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on U.S. roads by 2025; and as this blog reported, New York’s Governor’s Office also put out a corresponding press release, noting the State’s initiative to build 900 new public charging stations as a part of its Charge NY program.
NYPA’s contract with EV Connect is certainly a step in the right direction for New York’s electric vehicle infrastructure, since more than 100 charging stations will be deployed throughout the State. Although they do not manufacture the charging stations themselves, EV Connect will source them from suppliers and deploy them across 37 different but strategic locations. Those locations will include public parking structures, such as transportation hubs and private commercial locations that will provide employee electric vehicle charging. In fact, it seems like work has already been underway. As the Times Union reports, the first six charging stations have already been installed at the Albany International Airport’s parking garage and long-term parking lot.
EV Connect will not just install but also manage the new chargers with its open charging network, providing NYPA and customers with real-time monitoring, electricity usage, payment processing, reporting, and demand response, among other capabilities. This use of an open network and not a closed, proprietary one is incredibly important, because it will ensure that once the chargers are in the ground, they can be managed by any network in the event that EV Connect is no longer able to do so. This benefit will protect New York’s hardware investment, and ensure that the chargers would not have to be replaced by a potential new network manager. Furthermore, it will ensure that in the event of a switch in network managers, New Yorkers will not lose access to these strategically located chargers and continue to be able to use them.
Judging by the recent electric vehicle news coming out of New York, the State seems committed to building and supporting its electric vehicle market, and it is putting its money where its mouth is. While there is still much work to be done, NYPA’s deal with EV Connect is sure to result in transportation infrastructure that is much friendlier to electric vehicle owners. To read the official press release on the contract between NYPA and EV Connect, click here.