Electric Vehicles

There has never been a better time for car owners to go electric. Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming much more affordable, battery range is increasing, and more models are hitting the market.

EVs run at least partially on electric energy. Much like vehicles that run on fossil fuels such as gasoline or diesel, EVs include cars, trucks, and buses. EVs may run entirely or partially on battery power or on electricity generated from a hydrogen fuel cell.

Benefits of EVs

Compared to conventional vehicles, EVs have:

EVs are now broadly available at multiple price points, and there are various tax credits, rebates and other incentives available for EV buyers that can bring down the purchase price.

EVs in NYC

An orange DHL van with a sticker promoting the vehicle as '“100% Electric”' drives along a NYC street.

Transportation is responsible for almost 30% of NYC's greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), with most of these emissions coming from passenger cars. Increasing the number of EVs in the five boroughs is an important part of the city’s effort to fight climate change by reducing GHG emission 80% by 2050.

Charging EVs

There are three different charging levels for EVs:

  • Level 1 Charge:
    • Up to 5 miles of range per hour of charging
    • Standard household outlet, Low voltage (120v)
  • Level 2 Charge:
    • Up to 20 miles of range per hour of charging
    • Mid-level voltage (240v), commonly used in large appliances like dryers
  • Level 3 Charge:
    • Over 30 miles of range per 10 minutes of charging
    • DC Fast Charging, the fastest charging option (over 480v)

New York City is creating PlugNYC, a comprehensive network of publicly accessible Level 2 Chargers and DC fast chargers. Level 2 charging stations allow EV owners to charge their vehicles while parked at home, at work, or curbside. DC fast chargers offer a charging experience comparable to a gas station.

Curbside Level 2 Charging Pilot

A white electric vehicle is parked along a curb in the Bronx in a special space reserved for charging electric vehicles. Installed on the sidewalk next to the parked car is a tall pole with “Flo” and “PlugNYC” branding. The pole has two long cables with plugs to charge electric vehicles parked in the curbside spaces.

In New York City, where many people park their cars at the curb and don’t have access to a home charger, charging an EV can be a challenge. To address this gap, NYC DOT and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) are working with partners to expand access to public EV charging across the five boroughs.

In partnership with Con Edison, NYC is installing 120 Level 2 charging ports at curbside locations across the five boroughs. The chargers will be in place for four years as part of a demonstration project, which will include an evaluation period. Installation of the Level 2 chargers began in June 2021. Use of the chargers will be managed by FLO.

NYC DOT, with input from Con Edison, selects curbside locations based on projected demand for charging, geographic diversity, and input from local elected officials and community stakeholders. NYC DOT collected input from the public on where chargers should be installed. Business owners could also request an EV charger outside of their business.

The curbside Level 2 chargers will come with a standard SAE J1772 connector that is compatible with most EVs. Tesla owners will be able to use these Level 2 chargers with an adapter that comes with each Tesla.

EV owners will pay for charging on a per hour basis. The cost of charging will be competitive with the cost of gasoline for non-EVs. Customers will be able to pay by smartphone, tap card, or on the program website. These parking spaces are reserved for actively charging EVs. Non-charging vehicles may be ticketed by NYPD.

DC Fast Charger Program

A white Department of Transportation vehicle is parked in a municipal garage and plugged into a DC fast charging station.

In September 2017, Mayor de Blasio announced a $10 million investment in EV fast charging stations. NYC DOT, in conjunction with MOS, is building a network of fast chargers across the city. These hubs will feature up to four DC fast chargers (three 50kW and one 150 kW) and two Level 2 chargers. Hubs will be in city-owned public parking lots and garages.

The first two DC fast charging hubs are the Court Square Municipal Garage in Queens and the Delancey/Essex Municipal Garage in Manhattan. The City will continue to install DC fast chargers to support the growing number of EVs. More DC fast charging is planned for municipal lots in 2022.

How it works:

  • An EV driver parks in a DC fast charger space
  • Driver begin a charging session via the EV Connect App or by swiping or tapping their credit or debit card on the charger
  • The driver plugs in their vehicle
  • The app will notify the driver when the vehicle's battery is 80 percent charged (depending on the vehicle this may take 30 to 60 minutes)

Notes: Each charger has CHAdeMO and CCS connectors, which are compatible with most EVs. Tesla owners will be able to use the fast chargers with Tesla’s CHAdeMO adapter.

The fee to charge is 35 cents per kWh consumed. Drivers must pay for parking at the municipal lots. DC fast charger customers will have the cost of the first hour of parking deducted from their charging session.

DC Fast Charger FAQ (pdf)

Map of EV Charging Stations

Two electric vehicles are parked inside a municipal lot, plugged into EV chargers.

Some NYC DOT municipal parking facilities offer Level 2 charging stations. NYC Municipal Parking Facilities

  • Jerome – 190th Street Municipal Parking Garage, Bronx: 5 EV charging spaces
  • Delancey and Essex Municipal Parking Garage, Manhattan: 5 EV charging spaces
  • Court Square Municipal Parking Garage, Queens: 8 EV charging spaces
  • Queens Family Court Municipal Parking Garage, Queens: 3 EV charging stations
  • Queensboro Hall Municipal Parking Field, Queens: 4 EV charging spaces
  • Staten Island Courthouse Garage and Parking Lot, Staten Island: 5 EV charging spaces

Find a place to plug in your EV with NYSERDA's Electric Vehicle Station Locator

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Electrifying New York Report

EVs are a critical part of the path to carbon neutrality. NYC DOT is setting ambitious goals for their adoption.

The EV market is moving in the right direction, but not fast enough. Local EV sales still lag far behind California and Europe. The existing public charging network is too small and over-concentrated in Manhattan. The lack of charging options suppresses demand for EVs, which in turn discourages private sector investment in EV charging.

Electrifying New York: An Electric Vehicle Vision Plan for New York City lays out eight initiatives to dramatically expand access to public charging across the five boroughs. These actions represent a significant commitment to the city’s EV future. Together, they can make New York City a national leader in preparing for the EV transition.

  1. Growing the city-operated fast charging network to over 80 plugs by 2025.
  2. Equipping 20 percent of all spaces in municipal public parking lots and garages with Level 2 chargers by 2025, increasing to 40 percent by 2030.
  3. Creating a network of 1,000 curbside charge points across the five boroughs by 2025, increasing to 10,000 by 2030.
  4. Developing a plan for a Level 2 and Level 1 user-supplied cord charging system that integrates with existing street infrastructure.
  5. Advocating for funding and supportive policies from the federal government.
  6. Working with utilities and regulators to make it easier and cheaper to install EV chargers.
  7. Engaging with EV stakeholders to better understand evolving EV market, technology, and charging needs through an industry day.
  8. Increasing public awareness of EVs and charging opportunities through the PlugNYC marketing program.

Electrifying New York: An Electric Vehicle Vision Plan for New York City (pdf) Electrifying New York: An Electric Vehicle Vision Plan for New York City (text only pdf)

New York City will need to work closely with its federal and state partners to build the EV charging network described in Electrifying New York. Fortunately, the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes a groundbreaking $7.5 billion for charging infrastructure. On September 8, NYC DOT Commissioner Gutman sent a letter to US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg with recommendations for how USDOT can use the new federal EV charging funds to help American cities quickly and equitably expand access to EV charging.

EV Charging Letter to Secretary Buttigieg (pdf)

Additional Reports

NYSERDA's Curb Enthusiasm: Report for On-Street Electric Vehicle Charging (pdf)