City Builders Revise Electrical Infrastructure


When the Yons, Kinne and Neal were making plans for an environmentally aware rental tower on 1510 Lexington, they placed a charging station for electric cars. This input was done even before electric cars were even available commercially. Now this small infrastructure input has reaped dividends for their property value.

According to Ms. Yon, “We don’t get paid anything extra to have it in the garage but we think it’s kind of in keeping with going green, and in the future, more cars will be electric cars.” The garage at 1510 Lex also has priority parking spaces for hybrids and all electrics.

Overall, Manhattan has had an explosion of public charging stations for electric vehicles, which now numbers to fifty within the city according to Con Edison. The charging stations are found in parking garages in the Midtown area, Lower Manhattan and the Upper East Side.

The infrastructure is there but there are only a few users of the charging stations in New York City. Yet property developers such as the Albanese Organization continues to include charging stations in its properties, such as rental towers Solaire and Verdesian, the condominium building Visionaire, which are all located in Battery Park, NYC.

According to the VP for Residential Management for the developer, “They’re not frequently used, to be honest with you. And it’s more transient users than your New York-based residents.” This is projected though to change in the next few years.

According to estimates, the number of electric cars would increase significantly in 2012 because of the many automakers and builders that are introducing their version of the electric plug-in vehicles and hybrids. Furthermore, the charging station infrastructure would also become more prevalent, according to Coulomb Technologies CEO Pat Romano. This company builds charging stations with a networking software.

This networking software from Coloumb provides a real-time map of charging stations available online or through mobile phone applications. The information can also be accessed through navigation systems of some car models. The company is working with Albanese to create charging stations for newer electric cars such as the Volt, the Leaf and the BMW ActiveE. The company is also changing the 120-volt chargers to 240 volt Level 2 chargers.

Overall, the bulk of the public charging stations have been built by companies such as Bearn Charging and Car Charging Inc, who specialize in parking garages and other car centered franchises such as rental companies to facilitate construction of the charging stations and provide monthly car charging payment plans for its users. It is projected that the charge up costs would only $98 a month, which is a large savings compared to daily pump prices for gasoline and oil products.