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New York City Ordinance Would Require EV-Ready Parking Facilities

Proposed amendment to New York City's electrical code will require all new parking lots and garages to be electric car-ready.

Published: 11-Dec-2013

On the lengthy agenda before the city council of New York City tonight is Int. No 1176. The introduction to the proposal states explains it is , "... a Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York and the New York city building code, in relation to electric vehicle charging stations in open parking lots and parking garages."

Simply put, anyone building a parking garage or developing a surface parking lot within the five boroughs of the City shall be required to install conduit sufficient to provide 20 percent of the parking spaces with a minimum of 3.1kW of electric power for the purpose of charging electric cars. In addition to specifying that conduit 'raceway' shall be no smaller than one inch, each facility shall also provide space for the installation of a 3.1kw supply cabinet.

The only exceptions are "parking garages for buildings of occupancy group M (Mercantile)" and temporary parking structures deemed to have a service life of less than three years.

As Jim Motavalli points out, the city has approved some 15,000 parking spaces in the last five years, so the number of EV-ready spots someday could be significant. However, developers are not required to actually install charge stations, also referred to as EVSEs: electric vehicle service equipment. Requiring them to install the conduit for future installations, however, will save them or their successors a great deal of money that would otherwise be required to retrofit the facility.

Additionally, electric vehicle charging technology is still evolving. More carmakers are starting to investigate inductive charging, which uses magnetic coils positioned below the vehicle instead of physical plugs, to wirelessly recharge the battery. Conductive charge units that require manually plugging in the car could become obsolete, stranded assets.

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