If you’re looking for ways to protect the environment and to fight climate change, environmental groups encourage you to consider an electric car (EV) for your next vehicle. But many consumers have worries about the “charging range” –how far the car will travel before you have to re-charge the batteries and whether there are enough charging stations nearby. Is this “range anxiety” real? Or just a myth?
In southern Westchester, happily, it turns out there are many EV charging locations that are easily accessible using the Electric Vehicle Station Locator map from the U.S. Department of Energy. For example in Larchmont, there are two outlets open 24/7 at the Hommocks Road Rink and Memorial Park on Baldwin Road. In Mamaroneck at the Town Center there are two more. In New Rochelle, during business hours , there are two outlets at the Nissan dealership on Palmer Avenue.
However, the myth that an EV will run out of charge before getting to a destination, leaving the driver stranded, has persisted and discouraged consumers from going electric. As of January 2020, only 45,000 EVs had been purchased by New Yorkers, according to the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (NYLCVEF).
To address “range anxiety”, the League recently launched an education campaign,”Plug It In, NY” including a series of fact sheets to help consumers make “educated choices” on EVs and to explain how they will be key to cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.
In fact, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reports that the transportation sector now accounts for about 36 percent of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions–more than power stations–and this percentage is growing.
To reduce these emissions, the state is not only increasing the number of EV charging stations, but it is offering EV buyers a Drive Clean Rebate of up to $2,000 off the price of an EV at the time of purchase. (Plus, there may be a sizable federal tax credit depending on the model you purchase.)
Other little-known EV benefits include qualifying for discounts on state Thruway tolls through the Thruway Authority’s Green Pass Discount Plan, and at bridges and tunnels in New York City through the Port Authority’s Green Pass Program. Also, the Clean Pass Program allows EV drivers to use high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes evenn when driving alone.
Many more facts about EVs are available here.
Joyce H. Newman is an Emmy Award-winning environmental journalist, educator, and gardener. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden, and is a tour guide there.