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Many proponents of electric vehicles espouse the benefits of using them in urban areas. The problem is that in many of those cities – like New York or Chicago – people often live in apartments or row-houses and parking is at a premium. A private garage with a plug is a true luxury. Some property developers in Manhattan are now trying to address this problem by installing charging points in the garage facilities of new apartment buildings.

One company, Glenwood Management, is installing chargers made by Coulomb Technologies in the garage of its newest building. Only four chargers are being installed, but, given the number of EVs available right now, that should be sufficient. Glenwood will monitor the usage of the first chargers before moving ahead with adding more at this building as well as the 38 23 other buildings it owns.

Coulomb's charging stations are designed to work with a subscription service that allows EV owners to subscribe and get billed according to usage. Currently, the chargers are running at 110V with standard three prong plugs. As the new standard J1772 connector becomes available in the next few months, Coulomb will retrofit the existing chargers with new cables and 220V charging capability.

[Source: New York Times]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think all you non-New Yorkers need to realize that a garaged parking space in Manhattan easily costs over $300 per month- and parking spots typically do not come with an apartment. Due to traffic, people often do not drive as many miles- so less charging is needed. Even if you take into account that we pay higher electricity costs, it would still take less than $50 a month to charge the car- much less than the price of the spot. Even if they charged extra, the convenience of not having to go across town to one of the few gas stations would be worth it for most people.

      And parking meters also cost more money per hour here than the amount of electricity that could flow out of a 110v outlet.
      Marshall Davidoff
      • 5 Years Ago
      The oil companies are way too powerful for anything that doesnt involve a gas station to ever become widespread. That is why we are limited to a future of fuel cells and Hydrgen gas powered motors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Marshall Davidoff
        Too bad for the oil companies that hydrogen is prohibitively expensive to build. Even when you take out the platinum the cost to build a decent fuel cell is comparable to building the engine in a F1 race car (see Honda Clarity). Thats not going to get much cheaper without astronomical advances in the technology....and even then if they reduce the price by 90% that still puts the car around or above $100k....and fuel cell would have to be less than $10K for it to be economical for a mass-market breathrough. The oil companies know they can't bank on hydrogen so they're hoping to at least slow the adoption of EVs as long as possible...but they're fighting the inevitable.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Smart move. If EVs take off in NYC you can makes some extra money on charging fees.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Glenwood Management, is installing chargers made by Coulomb Technologies..."
      "Coulomb's charging stations are designed to work with a subscription service... "

      Isn't that a bit like your landlord forcing you to fuel up at Texaco, and not at any other gas station.
      The implementation of public charge points is great news. I just don't like the chosen business model. Like paying hourly parking fares at your own home.
      http://green.autoblog.com/2009/08/14/coulomb-technologies-will-legally-sell-energy-for-electric-car/

        • 5 Years Ago
        If EVs take off I'm sure other garages well offer different chargers. However, I see no reason why a garage can't charge a fee for their use. If the city installed them I would expect them to charge a fee, someone has to maintain the equipment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I'm not mistaken the Canadians are requiring (or will require) 10% of their parking spaces to be wired for electric outlets on any new construction parking structure.

      Simply change the NEC (National Electrical Code) so that 50% of new construction parking spaces will have outlets and the charging infrastructure will start being built. Hopefully fast enough that electric cars always have a spot to park and charge at.

      Just my 2 cents.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Coin operated parking meters are rapidly being replaced in some areas with meters operated by a credit/debit card for eliminating theft and the cost of collecting the coins. It seems to me the easiest thing would be to have a merged meter and charging station, a hybrid if you will. Parking price and electricity price would be clearly displayed. Park, insert your card, select parking time, enter the maximum kilowatts you want and leave. Easy. No subscriptions. No superdatabase required to connect you to your electric company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think the problem is new apartment buildings so much as retrofitting older ones. Except for a few fast-growing areas in the country, there is a glut of existing units with all sorts of parking arrangements from off-street lots to first-come, first-served on the streets.

      I don't think the city I live in has built (or needed) a new apartment unit since the 1970s and current landlords are reluctant to plow any money into an improvement that would likely have only one or two users out of 30 or 40 tenants.
      Marshall Davidoff
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't want anyone accusing me of being a socialist, But I think this would be a great way for the govt to get money besides taxes and fines; By putting plugs next to parking spaces on the street outside of apartment houses and charging for the elec. The alternative is for the private utility to do this and the govt tax it like gasoline. I know this would hurt gas stations,but if it takes more than a few minutes to fully charge a car,gas stations wont work anyway.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Marshall Davidoff
        "gas stations wont work anyway"
        Right, gas stations won't work but quick charge stations could.
        Wiring the city parking lots must be a bad joke, right?

        Batteries and charge technology is improving fast, we'll see (hopefully) gadgets who are able to charge 60-80% in 15 minutes.
        IMHO, in big cities only a sufficient net on rapid charge stations can lead EVs to the breakthrough.
        If the busy city boy have to wait longer as 15 min. he won't buy an EV, it's just that simple.
        In the long term we also need those power chargers on highways etc., a tight net like gas stations now.

        Sure, the simplest way would be if existing gas stations had to add at least one power port. But this is indeed to socialistic.
        But wait, they even ban our beloved incandescent bulbs here in the EUSSR. ;-() OK, far to off topic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why not mandate that all new apartment blocks have an outlet socket where the mailbox is (or some kind of thing), so people can recharge cars on the street.