If you are alert entrepreneurs in the business of developing electric vehicle (EV) technology, you must be already looking into the state of New York. which is making new funds available. More specifically, though, Governor Andrew Cuomo wants you to foster connections between EVs and the electric grid.
Gov. Cuomo recently launched a new program called "Charge USA," in hopes of accelerating the market adoption of EVs and to make EV infrastructure easier to use in New York.
The question is whether Cuomo's $2 million EV fund is serious money. That's debatable, but it's still a gift horse.
In reading Gov. Cuomo's announcement, two things jumped out at me:
First, New York wants to establish a statewide network of up to 3,000 EV charging stations in the next five years. Today, there are only 640.
Second, guess how many EVs are operating across the state? The total is 5,000 electric vehicles, most of them privately owned.
Whether you interpret these figures as pathetic or as the harbinger of the Next Big Thing is totally up to you.
However, I found it particularly interesting that the Charge USA announcement lists as examples of "relevant projects" things like "demonstrating EV charging stations sited alongside battery energy storage that reduce the electric grid demands from charging and feasibility studies of new electric rate structures or other utility incentives to help reduce the cost of EV ownership."
In other words, Charge USA is motivated by promoting the idea of connecting the dots between EVs and the electric grid.
I've seen various research funds available for EVs, batteries, smart grids, and other discrete projects. But New York's specific linkage of EVs and electric grid is both unusual and prescient.
Noting that areas of particular interest are "technologies and strategies that can integrate EVs into the electric grid," the goal is to fund ideas -- both technologies and policies -- that "enable long-distance EV travel, and ease financial and regulatory obstacles to EV adoption."
And of course, Cuomo is looking for solutions that are more or less achievable. According to the Governor's press release: "Proposals should focus on research, results or strategies that can be transferred and implemented throughout the state in the near term to advance EV acceptance."
The deadline for applications is approaching soon. Proposals for the Electric Vehicle-Enabling Technology Demonstration Program are due October 22. More information is available at the Electric Vehicle-Enabling Technology Demonstration Program.