New York State Unveils First High-Speed Electric Vehicle Charging Hub in Jefferson County

October 30, 2020 -  New York State unveiled the first fast-charging hub for electric vehicles (EV) in Jefferson County. The Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC) hub at the Hilton Garden Inn in Watertown is the second set of 150 kW units completed as part of a statewide EVolve NY charging network being installed along key travel corridors and in urban areas to encourage travelers to drive EVs.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) initiative makes charging quick and convenient and helps achieve Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambitious statewide clean energy goals that include reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

“Electric vehicles should be a realistic option in every region of New York State and drivers should know they can charge up quickly and get to their destinations on time,” said NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones. “The installation of high-speed charging stations makes it easier and more convenient for residents in the North Country to own EVs and encourages travelers to come through and visit the local area. Creating a healthier environment will also help the state achieve its clean energy goals.”

Watertown’s four-charger hub, installed in the parking lot of the Hilton Garden Inn, 1242 Arsenal St., is the first fast charger over 50kW that provides non-proprietary charging in the North Country, meaning it can power any electric vehicle. The only other fast chargers in the region are Supercharger sites that can only be used by Teslas. The site features several amenities, including restaurants and retail stores, within walking distance of the fast-charging hub. 

“We are excited to welcome a fast charging station to Jefferson County in the quest for clean energy. It will complement our Level 2 dual port charging station at the Jefferson County office building downtown. As more stations become prevalent, quick and convenient it will be more appealing to drive clean energy and environmentally friendly electric vehicles and protect our environment for the next generation,” said Scott Gray, chairman of the Jefferson County Legislature. 

The new installation supports the Governor's "Make Ready" program, which will use funding from investor-owned utilities to add even more EV charging stations that will be built in key locations to support expanded EV use with a goal of deploying more than 50,000 chargers by 2025. Such electrification efforts, in collaboration with the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), will help the state reach its aggressive clean energy goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, legislation that was signed into law last year. 

NYPA’s first Evolve NY hub was announced in September in LaGrangeville in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Three additional charging sites will be announced over the next few months. By the end of 2021, EVolve NY’s fast charging network will include up to 200 chargers at 50 locations along major New York transportation corridors, as well as in key urban locations from Buffalo to New York City. 

Access to fast chargers, which charge an EV in as little as 20 minutes, fills key gaps to wider adoption of EVs, making them an easier and realistic choice for drivers. Charging times vary based on the vehicles’ on-board charging equipment and the vehicle’s battery capacity.  “Level 2” public chargers, often seen at businesses and workplaces, can take up to six hours for a full charge and are intended for use while drivers are working or shopping, or for those who don’t have access to charging at home or work.

NYPA launched its $250 million EVolve NY initiative in 2018 to expand fast charging along key travel corridors, create new charging hubs in major cities and airports, and establish electric vehicle-friendly model communities that will encourage residents to transition driving electric vehicles.

“The people of New York will reap tremendous benefits from using electricity as a transportation fuel, and we look forward to supporting an EV ecosystem that creates both cleaner air and a better charging experience,” said Jordan Ramer, CEO of EV Connect, which did the installation and provided the software. “Through the EV Connect platform, NYPA can deepen its insights into EV driver behavior and manage electricity demand from EV charging through the distribution system.” 

“Installing ABB’s industry-leading Terra HP high power chargers in communities like Watertown is essential to connecting New York's electric vehicle infrastructure,” said Bob Stojanovic, director of ABB’s EV Infrastructure business in North America, which provided the hardware. “Well-planned high-power charging sites like these are exactly what is needed to drive and support mass EV adoption, by enabling corridor travel for every electric vehicle on the road.”

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