Friday, November 15, 2013

NYC Infrastructure Hearing

The ChargePoint map of charger locations in NYC
This isn't an i3-specific post, however it is very important to the i3 and to all other plug in vehicles. The city of New York is considering legislation that would help to dramatically increase the number of public charging stations within city limits. While New York has been steadily adding charging stations in private garages and parking lots, there are currently only about 140 chargers in the entire city, and many locations account for multiple chargers so there really isn't a good spread of places to charge in New York City.

Answering questions from the Board
I was asked by Mayor Bloomberg's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability to testify in favor of  Intro.1176. There were a few other industry experts that testified and for the most part it seems the Joint Housing and Transportation Board that would be considering the bill was definitely in favor of it. In fact, the Co-Chairman James Vacca actually called for the bill to be expanded to include curbside charging stations which the bill in its current form didn't include.

Intro. 1176, loosely called the "Charger Ready Bill" would require all new construction projects in NYC that are adding 4 or more new parking spaces to install the conduit and make sure the site has the proper electrical capacity for future electric vehicle charging equipment to be installed in up to 20% of the parking spaces added. This is a great bill because it isn't financially onerous on the owner, as it doesn't require them to install the EVSE's or even pull the wiring just yet, but have the electric raceways there for future use. It is not expensive at all to do this while you are building out the parking lot, but it becomes very expensive if you want to do it later as you often have to rip up the parking lot and trench to run the wiring. Having the parking lots and garages ready for future charging equipment will certainly lead to increased charge points as it will be quicker, less expensive and much easier to install them once the owner feels there is the need to.

Unfortunately right now New York just isn't ready for electric vehicles. I go into the City frequently and it's very difficult to get a charger that is available, near the destination I'm going to, working, and not blocked by a row of gas cars. I even did a blog post about the difficulty I had with my ActiveE once last year. Most of the time I go in there now I take my gas car because I can't be sure I'll be able to charge while I'm there and that's unfortunate for me and for the city. Instead of me driving my zero emission car there, I'm contributing to the air pollution problem that every major city has by driving my gas burning vehicle. I even have had people that live in the city email me to ask for advice about getting EV charging equipment installed where they live. It's very difficult to own an electric car if you live in the city because it's so difficult to get it charged without paying extraordinarily high installation fees well into the thousands of dollars.  Hopefully Intro.1176 will pass and we can begin to get the hundreds and even thousands of charging stations that NYC needs to accommodate the wave of plug in cars that will be on the streets of NY in the near future.


  1. They couldn't have picked a better man, Tom. I'm sure you did well. Did it pass?

  2. Way to go Tom!

    Christian W

  3. Tom, I'm well off topic here, but I don't have/want a Twitter account so here it goes ... I saw in your Twitter feed (on the right side of the site here) that you just got a CT4000 station. Are you installing it on a single circuit, or feeding each plug with a dedicated circuit? If sharing a circuit, please read this post I wrote and let me know what you find! If you will be writing a future blog post about the CT4000, feel free to delete this and let me know that.

    1. I won't be able to test for you as I have a CT 4011 which only has a single charge cable. I couldn't use the dual head unit because of the location it's being installed.