Long Island Leads NY in Electric Car Use, Poised for More Growth

Long Islanders are plugging in and buying more electric cars than other areas of New York State. This strong electric vehicle (EV) market means the area is poised for further electric car growth, according to a recent report from the Long Island Power
Authority from the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).

In fact, Long Island residents have bought one-third of all the EVs purchased in New York State. In 2017, Long Island residents purchased more than 3,200 electric cars, and about 11,000 EVs were on Long Island roads—more than any other area in the state. By 2035, more than 600,000 electric cars are estimated to be driven in Long Island.

Such demand for EV will generate an estimated $2 billion in revenue for LIPA during next two decades but will require the utility to upgrade its grid and increase the number of public charging stations. The report estimates such upgrades will cost about $200 million during the next two decades. LIPA and PSEG Long Island have already planned $20.5 million in upgrades during the next four years to accommodate increased EV charging demands.

According to the report, grid upgrades would net the utility and Long Island taxpayers $422 million along with reducing electricity costs. Also, the cost of electric car use is about half as much as a gas- or diesel-powered vehicle, potentially saving Long Island drivers $1.5 billion from now until 2035.

However, because electric car charging can add an additional 25 percent to a household’s electricity consumption, LIPA needs to update its grid to prepare for such increased use. The study finds that LIPA will also need to increase the number of publicly available charging stations. Currently, Long Island has 50 charging stations for every 1 million people and less than 40 charging stations per 1,000 electric vehicles.

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