Rochester combats climate change with new electric vehicles and charging stations

Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced today that the City of Rochester is taking additional steps to combat climate change by expanding its electric vehicle fleet and installing six new public charging stations throughout the city, thanks to additional state funding.

The City has also joined a purchasing collaborative with mayors across the country to help add even more electric vehicles to the City’s fleet.

“When President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord last year, I made a promise alongside other Mayors across the country: If the federal government wouldn’t do something about climate change, we would,” Mayor Warren said. “I would like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYSERDA and our other partners in state government for helping our city invest in new electric vehicles and infrastructure. By working together – across all levels of government – we can fight climate change and preserve our planet for generations to come.”

These efforts fit into the City of Rochester’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 2010 levels by 2030. Other recent initiatives include: The new 2MW solar field on the former Emerson Street Landfill, single-stream recycling, ride sharing and bike sharing programs, installation of LED streetlights, and more.


The new vehicles triple the City’s fleet of electric vehicles. They were funded with assistance from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Cleaner Greener Communities program.

The new cars include two 2018 Chevrolet Bolts, four 2018 Chevrolet Volts, and one Moto Electric tram shuttle. These vehicles will be deployed in the Water Bureau, the Municipal Parking Bureau, Mt. Hope Cemetery, and the City shared vehicle pool. These are in addition to the City’s four 2014 Chevrolet Volts, deployed in the Rochester Police Department, and the Water and Parking bureaus.


The City received $96,000 in state funding through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) Municipal Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) & ZEV Infrastructure Rebate Program to install six dual-port charging stations in City parking garages and lots. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) contracted the installation work as part of its electric vehicle charging station program.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced these new stations as part of ChargeNY, a statewide effort to encourage electric vehicle use. These new stations are in addition to five new stations for the City’s growing electric vehicles fleet installed earlier this year and 12 dual-port public stations installed in 2014 with the assistance of NYSERDA funding.

“The City of Rochester’s dedication to expanding its electric vehicle infrastructure increases consumer confidence because residents know that once they buy these clean cars they will have places to charge them throughout the city,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO of NYSERDA. “I commend the Mayor for her leadership in the fight against climate change and moving New York one step closer to meeting Governor Cuomo’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing cleaner transportation options to her residents.”

“The City of Rochester is taking the lead in showing how municipalities can play a key role in accelerating electric vehicle adoption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO. “The New York Power Authority was pleased to implement this charging project, and we fully support the city’s efforts to build a robust charger infrastructure and help New York State achieve its clean energy goals.”

“Emissions from the transportation sector are the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in New York,” said Basil Seggos, president of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. “I applaud the City of Rochester's efforts to combat climate change by investing in infrastructure for clean, electric vehicles. Adding EV charging stations in Rochester will increase and expand New York's capacity to support more electric vehicles on the road while reducing harmful transportation emissions and making green travel easier for New Yorkers in Western New York."


The City will be able to purchase additional electric vehicles under the new Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative, an initiative of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, or “Climate Mayors.” Mayor Warren is one of several hundred coalition members who have pledged to work together to reduce greenhouse gases, and Rochester is one of 21 founding municipalities in the Collaborative.

Through the Collaborative, started by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City will have access to a one-stop online procurement portal which gives municipalities equal access to competitively bid on electric vehicles and accompanying charging infrastructure.

“New York is critical to expanding the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and the City of Rochester is creating a flagship example of how public private partnerships can accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric cars through coordinated action from the entire community,” said Carolyn Levine, Program Lead for the Rochester Electric Vehicle Accelerator. “Whether transitioning city fleets to electric, utilizing smart infrastructure planning, or giving people first-hand experience through ride and drives, the Electrification Coalition’s ROC EV program continues to be a proud partner in providing the tools to efficiently and affordably activate the EV ecosystem—leading to accelerated EV adoption.”

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