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.

The EV Charger of the Future

Electric Car
Electric Car

Roush Manufacturing, a company based in Michigan, has unveiled its electric vehicle chargers for the home and commercial use. Aptly called the Blink, the chargers would be offered via Ecotality’s EV project. This project specifically targets owners of the Nissan Leaf EV and the Chevrolet Volt Hybrid.

Under the project, the company would build 10,000 wall-mounted chargers for residences and 6,000 pedestal chargers for the market within the year. Roush was previously making injection molded plastic components and now it has realigned its resources to meet the project’s demand. Overall, the project is well worth $230 million.

“Throughout each step of The EV Project, we’ve seen unprecedented consumer demand for electric vehicles, and partners like Roush have played a key role as we’ve brought our smart charging stations to market,” said Don Karner, ECOtality president.  With the full-scale production, the project in partnership with Roush would provide charging stations for the EV market.

On another note, a new government funded initiative to entice individuals to purchase electric cars would be including the charger for free when purchasing an EV. This project applies to purchasers of the Chevrolet Volt or the Nissan Leaf. Also covered would be the installation costs, which can total as much as $4,000.

Another part of the program would be the creation of public charging stations in major metropolitan cities such as Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.