July 16, 2020 / 10:16 PM / 23 days ago

New York to invest $750 million to expand electric-vehicle infrastructure

FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at LaGuardia Airport's new Terminal B, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., June 10, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced an investment program that would allocate $750 million to build charging stations and other electric-vehicle infrastructure as part of the state’s long-term goal to reduce emissions.

The measure is set to create more than 50,000 charging stations and will largely be funded by the state’s investor-owned utility companies, with the total budget capped at $701 million through 2025.

An additional $48.8 million is allocated from a 2017 settlement with German carmaker Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) over its diesel emissions cheating scandal to fund electric school and transit buses, as well as charging stations.

New York’s announcement comes on the heels of a similar measure by Florida, which on July 10 announced an $8.6 million investment to expand charging stations.

While electric vehicle sales have gradually increased over the past few years, they still made up less than 2% of all U.S. vehicle sales in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Wider adoption has been stifled in part by a lack of reliable charging networks, with most of them concentrated in densely populated urban areas and along the U.S. East and West Coasts.

While many carmakers, including electric vehicle pioneer Tesla Inc, have significantly increased the range of vehicles on a single charge, many consumers are still put off by the higher sticker price and a lack of charging infrastructure, according to various surveys.

Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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