New York Plans Plug-in Hybrid Conversion Program for 600 State Vehicles
New York Governor George E. Pataki and Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno announced plans for a new $10-million program to convert vehicles in the State fleet to plug-in hybrids. Under this program, the 600 hybrid vehicles in the fleet will be retrofitted to be plug-in hybrids to boost their mileage to 100 miles per gallon or more. Once these conversions are complete, the program will be made available to private vehicle owners through a competitive process.
The announcement also included the construction of the New York State Alternative Fuel Vehicle Research Laboratory at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park (STEP) in upstate New York. The laboratory will conduct testing for advanced and emerging technologies such as fuel cell propulsion systems, alternative fuels, and greenhouse gas reduction technologies. Special focus will be on test systems to quantify all emissions from diesel buses and trucks, which will help to develop advanced control and retrofit technologies for these vehicles. The STEP laboratories are managed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Governor Pataki said, "This new vehicle testing laboratory and our investments in plug-in hybrids . . . will help spur the innovation necessary to transition away from a petroleum-based transportation sector." For more information about the vehicle testing laboratory, read the governor's August 1 press release.
As part of the STEP announcement, Pataki also announced a program to expand the state’s Empire Zones program, which to provides tax benefits to clean energy companies regardless of where they are located in New York. These tax incentives will be available to qualifying companies engaged in research, development, or manufacturing of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy publishes a complete list of clean energy incentives for New York.