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Curbside Charging: Reliable, Convenient and Attracting Drivers

image credit: Con Edison
Allan Drury's picture
Media Relations manager Con Edison

Allan Drury joined Con Edison in May 2009 as a Media Relations spokesman. Working in New York City, the media capital of the world, he speaks daily with reporters from local and national...

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Con Edison, in a partnership with New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and FLO, completed the installation of 100 Level 2 public electric vehicle (EV) charging ports across the five boroughs as part of the curbside charging pilot program.

The curbside charging pilot program is designed to increase adoption of EVs and help reduce the impact the transportation sector has on the environment.

Con Edison, DOT and FLO are continuing to assess the performance of the charging stations to better serve New Yorkers. The data collected so far suggest the following:

  • Curbside charging sites are being used at more than twice the anticipated rates. The target for year 1 of the project was 8 percent utilization across all sites. In July, the average utilization rate across all sites was 25 percent.
  • Awareness of curbside EV chargers continues to increase. In a recent consumer survey, 20 percent of respondents indicated that they had seen EV chargers on the street in public parking places. This is three times the awareness level recorded during a baseline survey at the onset of the project.
  • FLO has been able to provide uptime of more than 99 percent in New York City by actively monitoring and maintaining every unit in the network

Since their introduction last summer, the curbside chargers have delivered 550,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. That’s enough for 1.7 million miles of travel in a typical EV or more than three trips to the Moon and back. The curbside chargers have eliminated the consumption of more than 67,000 gallons of gas and avoided more than 675 tons of CO2 emissions compared to gas-powered vehicles.

“From Staten Island to the Bronx and every borough in between, curbside charging makes it possible for New Yorkers without access to private charging ports to consider an EV for their next car,” said Vicki Kuo, senior vice president, Customer Energy Solutions for Con Edison. “We’re committed to making it easier and more convenient for customers to switch from gas-powered vehicles, reduce their carbon footprint, and help New York achieve its clean energy goals.”

Currently, transportation is responsible for approximately 30 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, with passenger cars one of the largest contributors.

The locations for charger ports for this pilot program were selected based on input from local elected officials and community stakeholders, geographic diversity, and projected demand for charging.

“Electric vehicle adoption is an important piece in this administration’s efforts to reduce transportation emissions and protect the environment for our future generations,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We’re proud to see this pilot expand to all five boroughs and thank our partners FLO and Con Edison in helping accelerate EV adoption citywide.”

There are approximately 32,000 EVs registered in New York City and Westchester County. Con Edison sees an increasingly vibrant EV market in New York, citing the interest in its PowerReady program which offers incentives covering up to 100 percent of the infrastructure costs of installing new chargers. The company aims to support the installation of approximately 19,000 chargers by 2025.

“New Yorkers are setting an example for cities across the country in their commitment to electrify their city,” said Louis Tremblay, president and CEO of FLO. “FLO is proud to be a partner in the transition to a cleaner future here in New York City by providing a reliable curbside charging solution to the city’s residents. We know reliability is a crucial driver of EV adoption and we are proud to have been able to provide an unprecedented uptime of more than 99% in New York City by actively monitoring and maintaining every unit in the network. We look forward to the continued expansion of our charging network here in New York City and across the United States.”

Customers charging up in New York can benefit from other Con Edison programs, including SmartCharge New York. SmartCharge rewards drivers for charging their vehicles between midnight and 8 a.m., when the demand for electricity is low.

More than 6,000 drivers currently enrolled in SmartCharge get access to a web portal that provides information about their driving and charging habits.

 Taxi and rideshare companies are also taking advantage of SmartCharge, one of many initiatives Con Edison has to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. The company makes clear in its Clean Energy Commitment that it believes EVs will play an integral role in a low-carbon future.

FLO provided the charging stations and is managing the network under contract with Con Edison. Each FLO unit is equipped with a standard connector compatible with most electric vehicles, has a retractable cord management system, and has a robust design intended for public deployment.

Charging will cost $2.50 per hour during the day (6 am - 9 pm) and $1.00 per hour overnight. A daytime charge will be equivalent to fueling up at a gas station, while overnight charging may cost up to 60 percent less.

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