The Big Apple took a big step towards electrification this week, as the New York City Council passed a law requiring that a minimum of 20 percent of any new parking spaces be equipped with buried electrical conduit that can support future EVSE installation.
Retrofitting a parking lot for EV charging requires trenching to bury the cable, which is far more expensive than including the conduit before the concrete is poured.
In the past five years, 15,000 new parking spaces have been permitted, so the impact of the new law could be substantial. To date, Manhattan has only 210 registered EVs, which may have a lot to do with the difficulty of charging in a dense city where few residents have personal driveways or garages. Fewer than 22 percent of Manhattanites own cars, and half of them park in assigned garage spaces. Parking garages (but not retail parking spaces) are also covered by the new law.
Ari Kahn, the mayor’s policy advisor on EVs, said the law would add only $4,000 to the cost of a new parking garage. He said adding conduit at the time of construction costs only five percent of what retrofitting the spaces would cost. “EVs increase our city’s resilience,” Kahn said. “Thanks to our work with the garage and parking industries, [the new law] provides maximum flexibility for parking operators.”