Technology

New York City will get its first curbside EV chargers in October

Spurred by its environmental goals, New York City is reportedly looking to address its lack of EV charging infrastructure by launching its first curbside charging stations by October. According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the Department of Transportation (DOT) will install 100 level-2 charging ports for public use and 20 for the city’s fleet, which provide an 80 percent charge in four to eight hours. They’ll reportedly cost $2.50 per hour during the day and $1 per hour overnight 

The extra 120 ports mark an approximate 8 percent increase on top of the current number of chargers spread across the city. These include 1,400 level-2 charging plugs and 117 fast-charging plugs, which offer an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes to an hour. The problem is that most of the ports are located inside parking garages, according to the WSJ

More broadly, there are simply not enough chargers to meet growing demand. The DOT told the publication that 15,000 EVs are registered in the city, with an increase of 50 percent in the past year alone. NYC is aiming for 20 percent of new vehicle registrations to be EVs by 2025. Of course, the easier it is to find a charger, the more EV uptake will continue to rise. Which in turn should feed into the city’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. In keeping with its green targets, the DOT also launched its first electric scooter sharing pilot in the Bronx earlier this year.

Private companies that have tried to fill the void, however, have been met with contention over some of their EV expansion plans. In February, electric scooter company Revel said that it would build the first in a network of EV fast chargers in Bedford–Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. But, it recently suffered a setback to its all-Tesla ride-hailing service after NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to halt new electric taxi licenses. 

The first of the city’s new charging stations has been installed in the Norwood section of the Bronx. The original plan was to launch the ports last year, but the pandemic held up the rollout. As the WSJ notes, the DOT has picked FLO — the charging network operator that’s also part of GM’s multi-charging system for customers, known as Ultium Charge 360 — to manage the network under contract with Consolidated Edison Inc. The latter told WSJ that it’s planning to invest in more than 21,000 level-2 chargers and more than 525 fast chargers, the majority of which will be located in NYC.

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