ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- More and more electric vehicle (EV) chargers have been installed throughout New York. The effort aligns with the states’ plan to substantially reduce greenhouse gases and other initiatives to tackle climate change.

The Capital Region has a small cluster of EV charging stations, more so than other areas. To meet the state’s 2030 Climate Act deadline, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) will have to do better, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“Compared to what was promised, the rollout of electric vehicle chargers has been a disappointment so far,” DiNapoli said Feb. 4. “Since encouraging more drivers to switch to electric cars is a part of the state’s strategy for lowering emissions, we have a long road ahead. NYPA needs to look at our recommendations, deliver on its commitments, and get this program headed in the right direction.”

DiNapoli’s comments come after his office conducted an audit that found the installation of EV chargers was years behind schedule. The audit also found counties with a higher number of electric vehicles had fewer charging stations than some counties with a lower number of electric vehicles.

“The ports are not located where they’re most needed. Counties with high numbers of EVs have relatively few charging stations, while some counties have few EVs but a high number of charging ports,” the report said.

Based on the Comptroller’s assessment Suffolk and Nassau counties are in dire need of EV charging ports. There are 7,916 electric vehicles in Suffolk County and just three public charging stations. In Nassau County, there are five charging ports and 5,947 electric vehicles.

Greene and Montgomery Counties both have four EV charging stations with only a fraction of electric vehicles seen in either Nassau or Suffolk County. Greene County has 108 and Montgomery County has 74, or one charging station for every 27 and 19 electric vehicles respectively. Nassau has one charging station for every 1,189 electric vehicles, Suffolk one for every 2,639.

NYPA Public Charging Ports
Source: NYS Comptroller’s Office

Changes recommended to NYPA by the Comptroller:

  • Set and announce goals for EV charging projects to track over time
  • Raise awareness and educate drivers on the benefits of owning electric vehicles through new marketing strategies
  • Track the use of electric vehicles to help promote the addition of charging stations
  • Encourage agencies, authorities and local governments to install charging ports and announce to the public that high-speed EV chargers are available

NYPA agreed to implement changes based on the recommendations made by the Comptroller’s Office in the audit, but it also disagreed with the method used to make its determinations. EV charging locations under the Charge N.Y. and Charge N.Y. 2.0 programs were chosen by customers, not NYPA, according to the agency.

Millions of dollars have been spent to install EV charging stations with more money on the way. President Joe Biden announced New York would be getting $175.5 million for EV charging station projects. The money is part of $5 billion that will be given to states over five years to put more EV charging ports along Alternative Fuel Corridors, particularly highways.

“A century ago, America ushered in the modern automotive era; now America must lead the electric vehicle revolution,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“We are modernizing America’s national highway system for drivers in cities large and small, towns and rural communities, to take advantage of the benefits of driving electric,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said.

NYPA has a number of EV charging station projects planned, according to the EVolveNY website. Many of those projects are concentrated in the Buffalo, Capital Region, and Long Island regions.