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Electric car chargers plugged in at 8 city parking ramps

Next time you travel to downtown Buffalo for work, play or a weekend stay, you can park in one of the city's auto ramps and charge your electric car. The chargers were officially unveiled Thursday.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News

It's a $200,000 project putting the chargers in eight city ramps. Albany paid 80 percent of the cost.

"We have 16 charging stations and 32 ports," said Mayor Byron Brown. "We were able to do this in partnership with the State of New York."

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul reminded that Albany is putting tens of millions of dollars into clean energy, keeping to the terms of an international treaty on climate change that she said Washington, D.C. has abandoned.

"A year and a half ago, I announced an initiative in our state capital, which is a $70 million commitment to the future of electric vehicles in our state," Hochul said. "Fifty-five million of that was to create incentives to give rebates to individuals who were willing to purchase electric vehicles. As a result, today, we have over 30,000 electric vehicles on the roads across the State of New York. That wouldn't have happened but for this incentive."

Hochul said the entire auto industry might have been cleaner if the electric car industry - which was centered in Buffalo in the early years of the 20th century - had survived and thrived, instead of gasoline-powered cars.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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