Sustainability Recipe: You Gotta Know It - It’s Electric! Tompkins County Paves the Way for the Electric Ride

Campus Sustainability Office August 12, 2018

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Sustainability Life Recipes provide practical tips to go green and save green. Each recipe features strategies that save money while protecting the environment and contributing to good jobs for people in our community.

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Produced in collaboration with Smart Energy Choices (formerly Get Your Greenback)

When individuals make the effort to integrate sustainability into their daily lives, the broader community shifts toward sustainability too. Movements happen when individuals act. As we observe more and more sustainable actions taken on the individual level in Tompkins County and surrounding regions, we also see a community culture of sustainability emerge.

Tompkins County installed 11 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations last month to advance its goal of becoming New York State’s first EV Model County. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) helped produce the installations, as part of New York’s EV Accelerator initiative. This initiative aims to help municipalities transform into models for EV use, and supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030.

New EV Charging Stations Locations:

  • Cayuga Street Garage (Allpro #301) 235 South Cayuga Street, Ithaca

  • Brooktondale Community Center 524 Valley Road, Brooktondale

  • Caroline Town Hall 2670 Slaterville Road, Slaterville Springs

  • Cornell University Forest Home Garage 37 Forest Home Drive, Ithaca

  • Dryden Road Garage 114 Dryden Road, Ithaca

  • Ithaca College Visitors Lot 953 Danby Road, Ithaca

  • HOLT Architects 619 W. State Street, Ithaca

  • Sciencenter Ithaca 601 First Street, Ithaca

  • Seneca Street Garage 202 E. Seneca Street, Ithaca

  • Taughannock Falls State Park 2221 Taughannock Park Road, Trumansburg

  • Ulysses Town Hall 10 Elm Street, Trumansburg

Cayuga Street Garage Charging Station

The transportation sector is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in New York State. EVs use significantly less energy than typical gas-fueled cars – reducing carbon pollution by over three tons per year for an average driver. Electric cars also cost about 50 to 70% less to operate per mile, according to NYSERDA. This translates to over $4,000 in savings for an average driver over five years.

While upfront costs are typically higher for EVs and hybrids than gas-fueled cars, there are federal tax credits for up to $7,500 for people looking in the market for a new vehicle. NYSERDA also provides rebates of up to $2,000.

NYSERDA, administrator of the EV Accelerator initiative, attempts to create EV ecosystems across New York. Tompkins County is the second municipality to participate in the initiative after Rochester launched a pilot program last year. Both Tompkins County and Rochester have partnered with local businesses and organizations throughout project developments.

Tompkins County is now implementing the initiative’s next phase, which involves disseminating information about EVs at local events, and hosting ride and drives. For more details about local events, explore EV Tompkins’ Facebook page.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO of NYSERDA, emphasizes, “With every new electric vehicle charging station installed, New Yorkers are finding it easier than ever to drive clean and drive electric. I congratulate Tompkins County for being a leader in making electric vehicles a cornerstone of their efforts to fight climate change and commend the County for joining Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions across New York.”

Chart comparing EVs, hybrids, and conventional (gas/diesel) vehicles (