December 2013

Parking spaces

New York law will make 20% of new parking spaces ready for electric cars

Soon, electric car drivers in New York will have an easier time finding a parking space.

A new law will make 20% of the city’s off-street parking lots ready to recharge over the next decade or more.

Giving drivers more places to charge plug-in electric cars, in a city where space is as coveted as any other real estate, could help make zero-emission electric cars more attractive to New Yorkers.

Although New York City has by far the largest and most comprehensive public transit infrastructure in the country, it is not universally distributed across the city’s five boroughs.

About half of New York’s 8.3 million residents drive their own car at least once a day.

The law, as codified in Intro. 1176, will require new off-street parking facilities, such as garages and surface lots, to have sufficient electrical capacity to accommodate charging stations for 20% of their spaces. The mandate also applies to existing structures enlarged to the point of requiring increased electrical service.

Additionally, the law establishes standards for electrical equipment, requiring a minimum of 3.1 kilowatts of capacity for charging electric cars.

The legislation is expected to create a total of 10,000 ready-to-charge parking spaces, of which around 5,000 are expected to become available over the next seven years. New York City currently has just under 200 electric car charging stations.

2012 Mitsubishi i electric car, New York, August 2012

In addition to encouraging the use of electric cars in New York, lawmakers believe that installing a charger in new parking facilities will ultimately be less expensive than retrofitting existing structures with charging stations.

Introduction. 1176 is a concrete step toward outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to reserve one-fifth of the city’s new parking spaces for electric cars.

In its State of the City address in February, Bloomberg proposed preparing for off-street parking charging, as well as installing curbside charging stations.

In pursuit of this goal, a few creative ideas have been proposed to meet the needs of electric car drivers in the Big Apple.

One proposal was to replace phone booths with curbside charging stations, while a company called Hevo Power designed a wireless resonant charger disguised as a manhole cover, which could be used by vehicles Delivery.

While even New York residents may find driving and parking in Manhattan daunting, a slow influx of charging stations should help clear the air by making city streets more hospitable to electric cars.


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