2016-11-23 / Front Page

Constantinides Bill Encourages Use Of Electric Vehicles

The New York City Council voted unanimously pass Council Member Constantinides’ bill that creates a pilot program for electric vehicle charging stations at publicly accessible locations, encouraging the use of electric cars and helping reduce carbon emissions citywide. Constantinides was joined by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.The New York City Council voted unanimously pass Council Member Constantinides’ bill that creates a pilot program for electric vehicle charging stations at publicly accessible locations, encouraging the use of electric cars and helping reduce carbon emissions citywide. Constantinides was joined by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.The New York City Council voted unanimously on November 16 to pass INT. 1124, sponsored by Council Member Costa Constantinides. The bill creates a pilot program for electric vehicle charging stations at publicly accessible locations, including municipal parking lots. The program will encourage the use of electric cars, and help reduce carbon emissions citywide.
The two-year pilot will consist of charging stations at up to 25 locations across the city, with at least two stations in each of the five boroughs. The NYC Department of Transportation will post the location of the charging stations online. An advisory committee will be established to report on the program’s cost, the rate of utilization of each charging station, recommendations for expansion, the feasibility of on-street charging, and any other recommendations regarding electric vehicle charging stations.
Council Member Constantinides, Chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, said, “With an incoming Presidential administration that has pledged to undo our nation’s efforts to combat climate change, cities and local governments must now lead the way on protecting our environment. New York has already been a worldwide role model in sustainability and we must continue to keep this work a top priority. INT. 1124 will help us reach our goal of reducing carbon emissions by encouraging sustainable habits. A pilot program for electric vehicle charging stations will encourage more New Yorkers to use electric cars. I look forward to working on more innovative policies like this in our efforts to lead on environmental policy. I thank my Council colleagues and Speaker Mark-Viverito for their support on this legislation.”
“New Yorkers always love options when it comes to moving around our city,” said bill co-sponsor Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “With the passage of this bill, we’re making that option an eco-friendly one and incentivizing cleaner cars in New York. Emissions from vehicles account for nearly a quarter of our city’s emissions, a number we can scale down tremendously with electric vehicle use. I’m hopeful this pilot program will prove a success and highlight the need for even more charging stations in the city and beyond. With electric vehicles becoming more affordable, we have a chance to take a huge step forward in modernizing our city’s personal and official vehicles. I want to thank the Speaker, and my colleague Costa Constantinides for their leadership in helping to get this bill passed.”
“Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular transportation options, and it is our responsibility as a city on the forefront of innovation in sustainability to make sure that our infrastructure matches that demand,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Our commitment to an environmentally-friendly New York City includes implementing renewable measures across the board, and this charging station pilot program is a great step toward enhancing the options available to move our residents around. I am proud to see the City Council pass this initiative, and I thank Committee on Environmental Protection Chair Costa Constantinides for his work on developing this essential piece of green legislation.”
There is currently no listing of public charging stations operated by the city. Most of the existing charging stations are in residences or private parking garages. According to a Mayor’s Office of Sustainability study, almost 25% of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from the over 2 million vehicles in the city.
INT. 1124 is one of the city’s policies that will help combat climate change. New York policymakers have made environmental protection a top priority, acting as a global role model on climate policy. Later this month, Constantinides will chair an Environmental Protection Committee oversight hearing on emissions that come from power plants throughout the city. The Council recently passed legislation to encourage renewable energy including solar, geothermal, and bioheat. Legislation to reduce traditional energy consumption through sub-metering and updating building codes have also recently been adopted. Environmental advocacy groups joined in support.
“While the City has made tremendous strides to set the example by greening its own fleet, private electric vehicle registration in New York City remains low. Consumers are still concerned about getting stuck without a place to charge their car and that is among the biggest barriers to increased adoption rates. Council Member Constantinides’ bill will help rectify this and encourage the buildout of a robust citywide charging network,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters.
Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.

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