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Erie County parks get greener with addition of electric car-charging stations

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Tue, Oct 16th 2018 08:40 pm
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz (at right) is joined by, from left, Craig Jackson of Clean Communities of WNY, Tony Hazzan of NYSERDA, and Erie County Public Works Commissioner Bill Geary at Chestnut Ridge Park in front of the park's new dual-port electric vehicle-charging station, located near the casino.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz (at right) is joined by, from left, Craig Jackson of Clean Communities of WNY, Tony Hazzan of NYSERDA, and Erie County Public Works Commissioner Bill Geary at Chestnut Ridge Park in front of the park's new dual-port electric vehicle-charging station, located near the casino.
Dual-port station at Chestnut Ridge will provide free electric car charging
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz was joined Tuesday by Erie County Department of Public Works Commissioner William Geary, Coordinator of Clean Communities of WNY Craig Jackson and Tony Hazzan of NYSERDA to cut the ribbon and officially announce the installation of a new dual-port electric vehicle charging station at Chestnut Ridge Park. The installation at Chestnut Ridge is part of a broader campaign by New York to provide charging stations at rest areas and in communities along the I-90 corridor. The installations support Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "Charge NY" initiative, which aims to increase the number of electric vehicles and charging stations throughout the state.
"There is no better place to promote clean energy than in a park, and we are thrilled to have this station here at Chestnut Ridge Park, our largest park and one where it is sure to be noticed and used. Erie County already has electric vehicles in our fleet, and as these vehicles have become more common on the roads the necessity of these stations is obvious," Poloncarz said. "I thank our departments of Parks and Public Works, along with our partners, for bringing this new station to Erie County and for making electric car charging accessible and easy for residents here at the park."
The charging station was facilitated by Energetics, an energy technology and management consulting firm headquartered in Clinton, with support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. In addition to the unit at Chestnut Ridge Park, a new charging station will soon be coming online at Como Lake Park as part of the overall statewide program, which will include 25 new dual-port charging stations installed along the I-90 corridor.
Parks Commissioner Dan Rizzo said, "Parks are a natural place to install these charging stations, and we are sure they will be enthusiastically received by our patrons. This is a clean, quiet, and renewable energy option that we are pleased to offer to park goers at Chestnut Ridge and Como Lake Park."
The charging station installation was completed by PlugIn Stations Online, an Albany company that specializes in the installation of electric vehicle-charging stations. The ChargePoint level two dual-port charging station can be used by any plug-in electric vehicle. The station can be found through ChargePoint's mobile app or online on its interactive station map. An electric vehicle driver can drive up to the station and unlock the charging port with their ChargePoint ID card, ChargePoint app, or by calling the 24/7 ChargePoint 1-800 number displayed on the station screen. Once unlocked, drivers can plug the charging cord into their vehicles and the station begins delivering power. Level two charging stations, like the one installed at Chestnut Ridge, add about 10 to 20 miles of driving range per hour of charge.
Jackson said, "We are excited to encourage increased EV adoption in Western New York by helping partners such as Erie County install conveniently located charging stations that will provide environmental and economic benefits for our region."
The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in New York. Electric vehicles help car owners save money and reduce air pollution in New York. Compared to gasoline-powered cars, electric vehicles are more energy efficient and cost 50 percent to 70 percent less to operate per mile.
NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said, "I commend Erie County for their commitment to making it easier and easier for consumers to choose clean vehicles with the confidence of knowing they will have access to charging stations where they work and recreate. This installation at Chestnut Ridge Park is another example of how local municipalities can advance Gov. Cuomo's clean energy goals, help fight against climate change, and provide cleaner, healthier communities for all New Yorkers."
To make electric vehicles more affordable and accessible, Cuomo launched the state's "Drive Clean Rebate" program in March 2017. Administered by NYSERDA, the program provides residents with a rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase or lease of a new plug-in hybrid or battery electric car from participating new car dealers. More than 10,000 New Yorkers have received rebates in the past year for 35 different types of cars. Overall, most consumers received rebates of at least $1,100 for their new electric cars. This initiative played a central role in incentivizing the purchase of more than 10,000 electric cars in 2017, a 67 percent increase over 2016. There are more electric vehicles available to consumers now than ever before, with more than 40 models on the market in the U.S.
For more information on the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/; on the Erie County Department of Public Works visit http://www2.erie.gov/dpw/.

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