Electric vehicles are useless without a widespread network of charge stations. While homeowners can stick a charging station in their garages, things are a little trickier for city dwellers. The Car Charging Group is trying to change that–starting in the place with the least home garages of all, New York City.
Earlier this summer, CCG partnered with LAZ Parking to install Coulomb ChargePoints at some of its New York and New Jersey locations. Now CCG is embarking on a similar partnership with Icon Parking–a prominent Manhattan brand with over 200 facilities in the borough.
As part of the partnership, CCG will install Level II (240 volts) Coulomb ChargePoints at select Icon Parking facilities. Better yet, Icon is getting the ChargePoints at no charge. CCG offers the spots for free while retaining ownership thanks to a combination of tax incentives, subsidies, grants, and loan guarantees. Icon hasn’t yet revealed how much it will charge drivers for use of the spots.
That’s good news for Zipcar customers, too. Partnerships like the one between CCG and Icon will make it easier for car-sharing companies like Zipcar to keep large stables of plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles in city parking garages.
Zipcar is already testing a plug-in hybrid in its San Francisco fleet, and the company plans on adding a number of Nissan Leaf EVs to its fleets in San Francisco and Seattle as part of the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program.
“We’re continually monitoring the user experience of plugging in a vehicle,
and whether members feel comfortable in these types of vehicles,” says John Williams, a spokesman for Zipcar. If all goes well on the West Coast, New York City could be next.