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August 2020

Electric Vehicles Come to Bronxville

By Carole Upshur, Bronxville Green Committee

 

Electric powered vehicles (EVs) are no longer just for technology nerds or green advocates.  Many are buying them because of the nice finishes, safety, low maintenance, and just plain fun of driving them.  EVs accelerate quickly and handle well.  They’re quiet and smooth and have no problem getting up to highway speeds or passing. Owners rave about having had no repairs for over five years.  EVs have only 20 moving parts versus 200 for a car powered by an internal combustion engine! And even if run on electricity that is not fully renewable, they cut greenhouse emissions by over 50% from driving a gasoline powered car.

 

Owners talk about starting with one as a second car that isn’t used for long trips, but eventually ditching gas powered vehicles all together.  That is because some newer EVs (even with no back up gasoline engine) have increased mileage on a charge up to 250-300 miles and charging stations in New York State and around the country are becoming more plentiful.  The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), reports currently there are almost 5000 charging stations located in the state.  Westchester has a new $1 million bond issue to add stations.

 

Most public chargers are Level 2, which power most EVs up to 80% in only 30 minutes (a full charge is 4-6 hours). A two-car Level 2 charging kiosk is located at the Bronxville train station (in the Parkway Road parking lot behind Chase Bank), four public charging stations are being installed in the Kensington Road garage, and seventeen stations are available at the Ridge Hill Shopping Center in two different garages. Many local coops and condos are also starting to install chargers (eg., Midland Gardens, VillaBXV). Special phone apps indicate locations and the type of chargers (see Plugshare app). If you don’t use the car much in the evening, you can plug it into a regular 120 volt plug overnight for a full charge (8-12 hours).  A federal tax credit will reimburse one-third of the cost, up to $1000, for installing a station at home, and ConEd offers a special low electricity rate for overnight charging.

 

Vehicles start around $30,000 but rebates and tax credits can lower the cost considerably, especially when you factor in lower expenses for maintenance and fuel.  A federal tax credit can off-set $2500-7500, depending on the vehicle, although for some more popular cars these rebates are phasing out. Sustainable Westchester has an arrangement with a local Nissan dealer for an additional $5000 discount on a new Nissan Leaf.  New York State offers a point-of-sale rebate of up to $2000 for EVs (see NYSERDA.ny.gov/All-Programs).  A Port Authority Green Pass from EZPass discounts tolls and allows HOV lane use. For more information on calculating the cost and savings of buying an EV:   https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Drive-Clean-Rebate/About-Electric-  Cars/Electric-Vehicle-Calculator, There are also plenty of choices of types of EVs from basic to luxury and including SUVs. This website reviews types of EVs, if you are ready to explore:

https://pluginamerica.org/discover-40-plug-in-models-with-the-ev-guide/