Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations

According to NYSERDA's Electric Vehicle Registration Map updated on October 1, 2021, there are 2,888 electric vehicles (EV) registered in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties, including 1,046 all electric vehicles and 1,842 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The most popular EV on the road in CNY is the Toyota Prius Prime PHEV.

Click here for a full list of EVs and PHEVs available in the US, including details about price, electric range, seating, and more!

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Chevrolet Bolt utilizing EV charging station installed at Jordan Village Hall 

EV 101

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles (EVs) use electricity either as their primary fuel or to improve the efficiency of conventional vehicle designs. The use of plug-in electric vehicles can result in substantial reductions of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and is an important strategy for meeting the goals of the VisionCNY Regional Sustainability Plan.

Charge NY is a New York State initiative to get more electric cars and trucks on the road. Click here to see various rebates and tax credit opportunities available through Charge NY.

HEVs are primarily powered by an internal combustion engine that runs on conventional or alternative fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine and is not plugged in to charge.

PHEVs are powered by an internal combustion engine that can run on conventional or alternative fuel and an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The vehicle can be plugged into an electric power source to charge the battery.

EVs use a battery to store the electric energy that powers the motor. EV batteries are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source. EVs are sometimes referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

PHEVs and EVs can reduce fuel costs dramatically because of the low cost of electricity relative to conventional fuel. Because they rely in whole or part on electric power, their fuel economy is measured differently than in conventional vehicles. Miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (mpge) and kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 miles are common metrics. Depending on how they’re driven, today’s light-duty EVs (or PHEVs in electric mode) can exceed 100 mpge and can drive 100 miles consuming only 25-40 kWh.

The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) offers tools about alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles. You can use the tool below to calculate annual fuel cost and greenhouse gas emissions for alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles compared to your current vehicle.

NYSERDA also provides an EV Calculator tool online to help you decide if an electric vehicle is right for you. The tool can be found at https://nyserda.wattplan.com/.

Public charging stations are not as ubiquitous as gas stations, but charging equipment manufacturers, automakers, utilities, Clean Cities coalitions, municipalities, and government agencies are establishing a rapidly expanding network of charging infrastructure. The US now has about 18,000 public electric vehicle charging stations, offering about 50,000 outlets.


You can find alternative fueling stations near you by address or ZIP code, or along a route anywhere in the United States using the tool below.

EV Permitting and Zoning

EVs and PHEVs represent a new demand for electricity and supply equipment. Utilities, vehicle manufacturers, charging-equipment manufacturers, and government officials are working to ensure that EVs and PHEVs are smoothly integrated into the U.S. electricity infrastructure.


The installation of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), commonly known as “charging stations,” is a new and unfamiliar procedure for many electrical contractors, planning and zoning boards, and code enforcement officials in Central New York. It is important to note that there is a distinction between residential and commercial EVSE installations.


Residential Systems (Level 1 EVSE)


  • Wall-mounted (Typically installed inside a garage)

  • Can be connected to a single standard breaker in the electrical panel

  • Can provide a full battery charge in 8 to 22 hours

  • Require power equivalent to that of a typical household receptacle (110V outlet)


Commercial Systems (Level 2-3 EVSE)


  • Typically free standing

  • Can provide a full battery charge in 3 to 8 hours

  • Require power equivalent of an electric stove or clothes dryer (240V)


The residential permitting process, while similar to other large electrical appliance installations, can be unique and involves considerations specific to EVSE and plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging safety.


Commercial installations may involve more complex installation processes (e.g., trenching, laying conduit, adhering to Americans with Disabilities Act requirements) and should include additional safety precautions and warning labels to protect users and curious observers.


The newness of EVSE permitting and the still developing market have resulted in a haphazard assortment of permit prices, inspection wait times, and code/standard requirements. NYSERDA and the Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board (CNY RPDB) believe that planning and zoning efforts are critical with respect to preparing communities for long-term sustainability and ensuring permanent and continually decreasing greenhouse gas emissions in NYS.


The CNY RPDB can provide guidance to municipalities to establish EVSE residential installation permitting. For additional resources, visit our Resource Library.


Charge Ready NY

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the new Charge Ready NY initiative provides a $4,000 rebate per charging port for public or private employers, building owners, municipalities and non-profit organizations to install Level 2 charging stations.

Depending on installation costs and the model/make of the charging station, installers can save up to 80 percent of a typical installation's total cost. Level 2 stations provide up to 25 miles of electric range to cars for each hour they are charging. Charging stations must be installed at one of the following types of locations: 

  • Public parking lot: must have at least ten parking spaces and be open to the general public at least 12 hours per day for at least five days per week. Examples include municipal or privately-operated parking lots or garages, parking at retail locations, shopping malls, restaurants, parks, transit stations, schools and other destination locations.

  • Workplace: must have at least ten parking spaces that primarily serve a minimum of 15 employees who work at or near the lot. Examples include office buildings, universities, schools, and hospitals.

  • Multi-unit housing: must have at least eight parking spaces that primarily serve a building with five or more housing units, such as apartment buildings, condominiums and co-ops.

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EV charging station installed at North Syracuse's Fergerson Ave. public lot. The Village took advantage of the Charge Ready NY rebate to help pay for this installation

There are two ways to approach the application process:

  1. Apply for pre-approval of an incentive payment for purchase and installation of qualified charging equipment, reserving funds. Must complete installations and submit required documentation within 180 days. Check will be sent to owner upon approval of documentation.

  2. Apply for incentive payment for purchase and installation of qualified charging equipment after the installation is completed, within 90 days of the installation date, and must be after September 18, 2018. Must submit all required documentation as part of application. Check will be sent to owner upon approval of documentation.


To qualify, interested entities need to select an eligible charging station and network service provider from this list. Each of the eligible models has an option on the page to expand (+) and look at informational sheets describing each model. Each of the info sheets lists contacts from companies that provide those stations, which interested entities can reach out to for a quote.

For eligible entities, the Charge Ready NY rebates can also be combined with New York State's 50 percent tax credit for installing charging stations. The tax credit is applied after the rebate amount received from NYSERDA. Charge Ready NY rebates cannot be combined with other New York State charging station rebate programs offered by NYSERDA, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York Power Authority, or other state entities.

Municipalities that install a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station with two charging ports will earn their communities credit for the Clean Fleets action, one of ten High Impact Actions included in NYSERDA's Clean Energy Communities program

To learn more about the rebate, visit https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/ChargeNY/Charge-Electric/Charging-Station-Programs/Charge-Ready-NY

ZEV Rebate

Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) and ZEV Infrastructure grants are often available through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Check the DEC's website for availability information.

Clean Vehicle Rebates

Rebates are available to municipalities that purchase (or lease for a minimum of 36 months) an eligible clean vehicle placed into municipal service at a dealership in New York State.

Plug-in hybrid, all-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a 50- to 100-mile electric range are eligible for a rebate of $2,500; vehicles with a 101- to 200-mile electric range are eligible for a rebate of $5,000; and vehicles with an electric range of 201 miles and over are eligible for a rebate of $7,500.

ZEV Infrastructure Grants

Grants are available to municipalities that installed (or will install) hydrogen filling station components or electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) that is Level 2 or direct current fast charge (DCFC).

The EVSE must also be included as qualified in one of the following lists:


A variable 0-20% local match based on median household income is required. Maximum grant amount for any facility (location) is $250,000 and to any one municipality is $500,000. There is no minimum award amount. Charging hubs consisting of multiple units are eligible.

NOTE: The NYSERDA ChargeReady Program and the DEC ZEV Infrastructure program may NOT be utilized together for the same EVSE installation project.

Applications for both ZEV programs are only available through the New York State Grants Gateway.

Central New York EV Charging Station Plan

The objective of the Central New York EV Charging Station Plan is to recommend strategies for supporting current and future electric vehicle (EV) drivers travelling within the region and between NYS regions. Since EVs have a more limited range than conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that use petroleum fuels, the most critical area of support is providing charging opportunities to EV drivers. Therefore, this Plan identifies gaps where public infrastructure is not currently available in the region to support EV drivers and recommends charging station installations in key locations to establish a comprehensive charging network. In addition to more charging stations, this Central New York EV Charging Station Plan also outlines critical implementation barriers for charging station installations or EV adoption and recommends strategies for addressing them.

A number of initiatives have recently been undertaken to support EV readiness nationally (through the Department of Energy Clean Cities EV readiness grants), within NYS (chiefly through efforts by NYSERDA), and even locally in some cases. This EV Charging Station Plan, along with the process to create it, is one of the first opportunities to discuss and document EV charging infrastructure at the regional level. NYSERDA and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) sponsored the project to develop this plan, which also created four other plans for the other regions along the Interstate 90 corridor.


Incorporating EV charging station planning into broader local and regional planning processes can help ease the adoption of the new technology. EV charging station planning is complex because of the different factors considered by drivers when planning trips, including the different types and speeds of EV charging stations. Educating decision makers and key stakeholders is critical.

EV charging station installed at Brooklea Drive/Elm Street lot in the Village of Fayetteville as part of the CNY EV Charging Station Implementation project

EVs can save money and reduce air pollution in New York State. Compared to gasoline-powered cars, EVs are more energy efficient and cost 50-70% less to operate per mile. A large portion of New York’s electricity grid is powered by clean low-carbon energy sources (not oil or coal), allowing EVs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants that cause smog and acid rain. New York State has prioritized EV market development support through its ChargeNY initiative.


More EVs will be utilized by Central New York residents in the near future because they provide benefits for the entire community. While current EV adoption rates are too low to pursue any charging station mandates or regulations, gradually expanding the charging network in the region and supporting the recommended strategies to help our communities become more EV-ready will prepare us for the future. Even today, attracting EV drivers from other areas of the state can complement the efforts to promote tourism in the Central New York. EVs also attract highly educated and technology savvy individuals who can help drive our emerging technology industries.