At least it's not in any way difficult to find a parking spot in Manhattan. If it was, New York City's new plan to make at least 20 percent of the off-street parking throughout the five boroughs accessible to a plug-in vehicle charging station would be really onerous. Oh, wait.

The largest city in the country is now mandating that owners of parking lots, parking garages and other off-street parking areas have enough electrical juice to supply a fifth of the spaces with charging stations. Outgoing New York City Mayor Bloomberg (pictured above in an electric taxi) signed the bill into law today. That means that the number of off-street spaces reachable to plug-in chargers in the Big Apple should surge from fewer than 200 today to about 5,000 spaces by the end of the decade and, eventually, to 10,000. Parking lots need to be able to supply "3.1 kW of electrical capacity to at least 20 percent of the parking spaces of the garage." The rule does not apply to short-term parking areas (anything that will last less than three years) and parking lots in low-income households.

It's all part of Bloomberg's efforts to get more of the city's residents to start driving electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. In February, the mayor unveiled the plug-in parking space plan and it didn't take long for charging-station maker ChargePoint (formerly Coulomb Technologies) to go on record as being on board with Bloomberg's plan. The New York City Council webpage's link to the new law is here.

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