More charging stations coming to Queens

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More than 100 more electrified parking spaces will be added in New York City for drivers to charge up.THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre
More than 100 more electrified parking spaces will be added in New York City for drivers to charge up.

In an effort to put a “charge” into fostering clean energy, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently awarded $4.4 million to 10 companies and municipalities to install 325 new electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the state.

Queens residents can expect some of these charging stations will be plugged into the borough as well.

“It is expected to add more than 100 electrified parking spaces in New York City,” said Kate Muller, a representative of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). “It is anticipated that some of these EV charging stations will be located in Queens.”

Muller added there are currently 15 EV sites in Queens, but NYSERDA doesn’t know where the new stations will be placed because the companies that received the grant money have not finalized the locations of the charging spaces.

Beam Charging LLC, which will be receiving $400,000, is planning to expand on its four Queens charging stations.

“More of them [electric vehicles] have been selling every day and the demand has been increasing every month. It’s the way of the future,” said Beam Charging president Joseph Turquie. “We’ll sprinkle some more in Queens with our other partners. Queens is a very important market to us.”

EVs provide a fuel-efficient alternative to gas and diesel-powered vehicles while helping reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, according to NYSERDA.

The governor said the initiative will ease the pressures of high prices at the pump and make electric vehicles more “affordable and convenient,” among other benefits.

“Creating an infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicles will create jobs and new economic development across the state, while reducing our carbon footprint and helping protect the environment,” Cuomo said.

The initiative also follows President Barack Obama’s plan to develop one million plug-in vehicles on the street nationwide by 2015.

In New York State, approximately 1,100 electric passenger vehicles have been registered since 2011, a Department of Motor Vehicles official said, adding that specific county breakdowns have not been recorded.

With the introduction of the new stations, local politicians expect the number of electric car drivers to improve.

“I think there is willingness for people to want to use it,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “We need to establish the infrastructure to make using it convenient and that’s why making these charging stations will be beneficial.”