OSWEGO — The Port City has been named as one of the first five cities throughout the state to get a new state-of-the-art electric vehicle fast-charging station in the coming months, according to the governor’s office.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced Monday the five cities throughout the state to get an electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station through the new “DRIve EV Downtown program.”

Oswego joins the cities of Amsterdam, Utica, Geneva and Middletown to get new charging hubs in the coming months.

The New York State Power Authority (NYPA) EVolve NY initiative looks to install up to 100 EV charging stations across the state by the end of the year, which will give the state the third largest open-access 150kW+ fast-charging network in the U.S., according to the governor’s office. Currently there are 40 charging stations throughout the state

“New York continues to be a national leader in growing the utilization of electric vehicles, and placing charging stations throughout the state will allow more people to recognize the benefits of tying clean transportation initiatives to efforts that bolster economic activity in our downtowns,” Hochul said.

Oswego was selected because of its connection to the state Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). The DRI is a 2016 statewide program tailored to expanding and improving downtown districts in cities to transform them into activity and investment centers. The Port City received a $10 million DRI award in 2016 that augmented the local downtown district and skylines on both the east and west sides. 

Local developments funded partly through the state DRI nearing completion or done include: The LITATRO building, Riverwalk Apartments, East Lake Commons, Water Street Square and a multitude of similar projects coming to fruition.

“Downtown revitalization and clean energy go hand-in-hand,” New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said Monday. “Through this innovative collaboration, New York is building a comprehensive charging network, which is critical to meeting our state’s nation-leading climate goals and to supporting sustainable downtown development.”

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow said the new charging station will be located in at the corner of West Second and Cayuga streets and is slated to be installed by the end of the year. Once completed, the “superfast” charging station will host up to two electric vehicles simultaneously — bolstering the city’s commitment to a greener future.

“Everything we have done since taking office in 2016 has been to position Oswego for long-term success. There is no question that when you see recent announcements from Ford and GM and the federal and state government that were moving in the direction of electric vehicles,” Barlow said Monday. “It’s an important strategic move and the right thing to do.”

Barlow said the station’s cost is largely funded through a state grant, leaving roughly $5,000 to be paid or by the city to prepare the site. The upcoming charging hub will be the city’s second free public vehicle charging station. The first station is located in front of City Hall on West Second Street and was installed in 2018, the mayor said.

“The one we installed before usually has cars in it so I wanted to bring another one downtown,” Barlow said. “It’s a fairly minor investment and very accommodating to folks in this community who have electric vehicles and who stop downtown and go to restaurants and need a place to charge their cars.”

This program and initiative is part of Hochul’s commitment to the country’s “most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative” to decarbonizing the transportation sector and reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050, according to the governor’s office.

“Everyone benefits from getting more zero-emission vehicles on the roads alongside investment and development in our downtowns,” Hochul said in a Monday release. “This will make our communities healthier both environmentally and economically.”

Once the EVolve NY buildout phase is complete, New Yorkers will be able to drive any EV across the state with fast chargers capable of recharging their vehicles in 15-30 minutes located every 50 miles or less. Other EVolve NY sites include: the John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGrangeville, Oneonta, Syracuse, Watertown, Malone, Schroon Lake, Fairport and Schodack, according to the Monday release.

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