New York City to Get Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

By Paul Riegler on 26 August 2010
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The road to getting more electric vehicles on the road is dependent on building an infrastructure of charging stations that are convenient to drivers.  In the case of New York City, many cars end up in parking garages and Car Charging Group, a Florida-based electric-vehicle service provider, will be installing chargers at five garages in Manhattan run by Icon Parking Systems.  Icon has approximately 200 garages in New York.

The plan, according to Andy Kinard, Car Charging Group’s president, is to place the charging units prominently in each garage.  “I want everyone that goes in and out of the garage to see it,” said Kinard in an interview with The Diesel Driver.

Kinard believes that this kind of visibility will make people more comfortable about purchasing an electric car.  “It will eliminate their range anxiety,” he said, a problem which keeps people from planning trips with their electric vehicles.

In the coming year electric vehicles will be available from a variety of car makers including Ford, General Motors, Nissan, and Tesla Motors.  These include the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf.  In 2009 BMW began leasing all-electric Mini E coupes to residents of New York and Los Angeles and recently renewed the program for another year.

Car Charging Group is installing Level II (240 volt) ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations manufactured by Coulomb Technologies.  These chargers can fully charge an electric vehicle in several hours, depending on battery size.  Drivers will pay 50 cents per kilowatt-hour so the cost to fully charge a car with a 16-kilowatt battery would be $8.

The company is looking into deploying Level III (480 volt) charging stations that can fully charge a vehicle in half an hour, which would allow the infrastructure to service more cars each day.

At first, five garages will be part of a pilot program and each garage will get one charger but the wiring will be in place so that other chargers may be added as demand increases.

In addition to the pilot program with Icon, the Car Charging Group also announced a partnership with Laz Parking, which owns or manages over 1,300 garages in 21 states including the New York metropolitan area.