Curbside charging is taking root in New York City, where nearly half of residents depend on street parking, a reality that limits their ability to charge electric vehicles at home.
To encourage wider EV adoption by increasing access to charging, a pilot project by NYC’s transport department, energy company Consolidated Edison, and Quebec-based EV charging company Flo installed curbside chargers across all five boroughs of the city. The first one made its appearance in June 2021; the 100th showed up last August.
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“A bank of high-speed chargers near Times Square might look good, but making curbside charging stations a common sight where people actually park their cars will help ease the transition towards EVs,” writes Inside EVs in a sponsored post.
Electric mobility will play an important part in the city’s efforts to decarbonize in line with New York State’s 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050.
NYC itself is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050, but that will mean slashing climate pollution from light duty vehicles that currently account for about 80% of its transportation emissions.
The partners in the pilot project report that they worked together to ensure reliability and install chargers equitably across communities. But there are still challenges to overcome, like preventing non-EVs parking in EV charging spots. The pilot is coordinating with NYC police officers to enforce parking rules.
Overall, FLO reports that the project has shown significant demand for curbside charging. “When the project began, Con Edison hoped the average charger use for each day would be 12%, or about three hours,” the company said. “Already, utilization hit 30% in the month of January, with some chargers reaching 75%.”
“The data is clear: New Yorkers love curbside Level 2 EV charging, and our equitable distribution of infrastructure brought promising usage across communities,” said NYC Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.
And curbside charging “is about more than giving New York’s EV drivers more places to refill their batteries,” argues Inside EVs. The on-street location of charges can also be a boost to nearby businesses, as “EV drivers tend to spend money at the location where their EVs are charging.”