Electric Leap in Car Ownership for New Yorkers

Electric Leap in Car Ownership for New Yorkers

by Mindy Cohn

Ownership rates of electric cars within New York City and its suburbs have nearly doubled since 2020.

According to data from Atlas Public Policy, the increase from an average of three electric vehicles per 1,000 people in the New York City and neighboring suburbs, mostly from more affluent regions, to about seven vehicles per 1,000 and now includes moderate-income counties as well. 

Locally, the jump in electric vehicles for Kings County alone has increased by 219% from 2.5 people per 1,000 people operating one in 2020 to 6,398 in 2022. 

New York City metro region presently boasts about 158,000 electric vehicles, with the number expected to multiply by ten by 2030.

The increase in electric vehicles is attributed to several factors, including a wider selection of models as trucks and S.U.V.s are now being offered, as well as the increase in public charging stations, savings on gas; and government incentives to purchase electric vehicles making the price of some select models of electric cars competitive with regular vehicles although an electric vehicle still costs an average of  $60,000.

Despite the cost and any challenges that may present to the masses, Governor Hochul has committed that by 2035, all new vehicles sold in the state must produce zero carbon emissions. 

The challenge of having charging stations for vehicles is being met as fast charger hubs have increased to 1,500 public chargers in New York City and its suburbs, up from  551 in 2019.

The federal government is also doing its part with an ambitious goal that half of all vehicles sold by 2030 will be zero-emissions. In order to reach that milestone, $7.5 billion has been dedicated over the next five years for the installation of public chargers nationwide,  of which forty percent must be spent in underserved communities. The increase in public charging stations will significantly benefit apartment dwellers who find locating charging stations more challenging.

New York State offers consumer rebates to those who buy or lease new electric cars with an additional $7,500 tax credit from the federal Inflation Reduction Act. There are also subsidies for setting up charging at home as well as grants for municipalities to replace their fleets with electric vehicles.

All of these changes and perks have succeeded in electrifying New Yorkers, one vehicle at a time.

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