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NYC DOT looks to build one of the largest EV charging networks in the US [Update]

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) recently shared extensive plans to support the influx of EVs in the area by deploying four DC fast chargers as part of its city-operated fast-charging network. With nearly 50,000 chargers planned by 2030 as part of an ambitious plan, NYC’s government looks to build one of the largest municipal charging networks in the country.

September 9 update: Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) has signed new legislation to support the state’s efforts outlined below. The legislation sets a new goal for all new passenger cars and trucks sold in New York State to be zero emissions by 2035.

If adopted, the regulation would accelerate zero-emission truck sales, resulting in improved air quality throughout New York, especially areas more significantly affected by transportation-related pollution.

NYC is a town that needs no introduction. With the largest population in the US, New York City’s 8.5 million residents are switching to electric vehicles quickly — those who actually drive, at least.

To support this shift toward zero-emission transportation, the NYC DOT and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) have shared ambitious plans to support EV drivers with charging solutions throughout the city.

The municipal organizations took a step this past June when they unveiled a curbside Level 2 charging pilot project in the city.

Following a recent announcement from the NYPA, the group’s efforts alongside charging network EVconnect look to expand DC fast charging options for EV drivers in NYC.

NYC EV charging
Source: “Electric Vehicle Registration Map,” New York State Energy Research and Development Authority: 2021

NYC looks to become largest municipal EV charging network

In a recent release from the NYPA alongside the NYC DOT and EVconnect, the group has successfully installed four of 28 planned DC fast charging plugs within city-owned municipal garages. The initial goal for this city-owned and operated charging network is 80 plugs by 2025.

This initial rollout of DC fast chargers exists as part of a much larger and holistic EV charging strategy for NYC, also recently shared. The ambitious program is outlined in Electrifying New York: An Electric Vehicle Vision Plan for New York City.

The recently shared plan outlines ambitious, city-wide climate goals for the next decade, citing that NYC will need 400,000 drivers to switch to EVs by 2030 and will work to provide the charging infrastructure to support them.

The plan also shares strategies to leverage government resources to garner private investment, with an end game of implementing 40,000 public Level 2 chargers and 6,000 DC fast chargers throughout NYC by 2030. The program consists of eight initiatives:

  • Grow the city-operated fast charging network to over 80 plugs by 2025.
  • Equip 20% of all spaces in municipal public parking lots and garages with level 2 chargers by 2025, increasing to 40% by 2030.
  • NYC DOT will install a network of 1,000 curbside charge points across the five boroughs by 2025, increasing to 10,000 by 2030.
  • Develop a plan for a Level 2 and Level 1 user-supplied cord charging system that integrates with existing street infrastructure.
  • Advocate for funding and supportive policies from the federal government.
  • Work with utilities and regulators to make it easier and cheaper to install EV chargers.
  • Engage with EV stakeholders to better understand evolving EV market, technology, and charging needs through an industry day.
  • Increase public awareness of EVs and charging opportunities through the PlugNYC marketing program.

The release states that there are 117 fast chargers across the city as of this summer. With four more in place in municipal garages today (3×50 kW, 1×150 kW) and dozens more on the way, NYC still has a long way to go to reach nearly 50,000 EV chargers by 2030.

Still, local government remains optimistic. Ben Furnas, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, spoke:

It’s time to end the age of the internal combustion engine. Climate action means investing in pedestrian-friendly streets, interconnected protected bike lanes, reliable transit, and electrifying the vehicles on our roads. The Electrifying New York plan, including its ambitious vision for a new network of public EV chargers, will play a key role in reducing climate-changing greenhouse gases, lowering the risk of respiratory illnesses, reducing noise, and ending our reliance on fossil fuels. Thank you to the NYC Department of Transportation for their leadership and collaboration on this critical step.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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