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USA: Electric vehicles get a boost in several states

New York has announced it will be bringing electric vehicle charging stations to locales both up and downstate. Washington is also trying to make certain parking spaces off-limits unless you have an electric vehicle, announcing a new fine for non-electric cars parked in electric spots. And Route 66 is scheduled to have an electric car “cruise in,” later this year. Taken together, the efforts are a leading indicator that states are trying to find ways to increase adoption of electric vehicles.

New York will be installing some 60 electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid charging stations this year. Charge NY, unveiled by Governor Cuomo during his State of the State address earlier this year, is an initiative to create a statewide network of up to 3,000 public and workplace charging stations over the next five years and to put up to 40,000 plug-in vehicles on the road during that period. This initiative is being spearheaded by both the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Neighboring Connecticut first started offering Nissan’s electric car the Leaf in 2011. In 2010, Washington State announced it would build the nation’s first electric highway. Since then, electric cars have seen mixed support from state and local governments. However, some change appears to be underway.

As CivSource previously reported, 21 states came together last year to discuss how to bring renewables to state fleet vehicles. That initiative was supported by America’s Natural Gas Alliance which is pushing natural gas-powered vehicles, in light of the upsurge in cheap, domestic natural gas. At the federal level, the Department of Energy announced that it would be investing in electric vehicles and started doing so last year. Electric car makers themselves are also working on ways to make electric cars more palatable through the use of new fast charging stations and battery packs that can last for 60-80 miles.
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