Not only can you look cool in your new Tesla, you might get free parking! Photo by CarSpotter.

Councilman Mark Levine is pushing a bill to let owners of electric vehicles park at muni-meters for free on Saturdays. That could lead to substantial savings for drivers who go electric, according to Levine.

“Creating new incentives for people to buy electric cars is imperative if we’re going to slash New York City’s carbon footprint 80% by 2050,” he said in a statement. “This benefit has the potential to yield meaningful savings for those who drive electric cars–up to $2,184 annually–at minimal cost to the City, which took in over $545 million in parking fines last year alone. We’ve already made incredible strides towards encouraging New Yorkers to drive electric vehicles, but we need to keep doing more.”

The bill would expire after three years.

NEWS | 31 comments | permalink
    1. zeus says:

      Plain & simple.
      And, how will the meter readers know it’s really a 100% electric car?
      Most “electric” cars are hybrid.
      Need gas as well as electricity.
      Stupid idea from a dumb councilman, or as the PC squad would call him – councilperson.

      And think of this:
      You want to save on the carbon footprint,
      yet these cars are PARKED, not driven, so, where is the savings?

      • Well, car guys know… but we could issue a sticker to all-electric cars.

      • Michael G says:

        And when cars are not parked…they drive around! Mind blown.

        (Also let’s clear up the confusion: electric cars are a special kind of machine without a gas tank. They’re sort of like those battery operated televised computational typewriter devices that PC squad members use to send secret fist bump communiques to councilpeople and sad clowny faces to the president, the main difference being that 100% electric mobile horseless wagons have wheels because they’re harder to carry around. It’s a crazy thought, but maybe Nikola Tesla’s dream of persecuting against good hardworking Americans with electricity will someday become a reality.)

        • EricaC says:

          Discrimination is only wrong when it is based on a wrongful basis. For example, it is wrong to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, gender, and the like – it is not wrong to discriminate against people who commit violent crimes by requiring them to live in jail.

          Here, discrimination among car owners based on whether the cars are more or less damaging to the environment and other communal interests is permissible. Whether it makes sense depends on whether the criteria used accurately reflect the community’s interests. I still find it mysterious how electric cars are more efficient – electricity is generated using means that are highly polluting and electricity transmission is notoriously “leaky” – but better minds than mine (or at least more educated) say otherwise. So, encouraging people to buy electric cars may make sense.

          And yes, as noted above, they may not be more efficient when parked, but that is not exactly the point …. (was that satire, Zeus?).

        • Nathan says:

          Parked cars are not the best use for Manhattan’s limited real estate. We shouldn’t be encouraging it, electric cars or otherwise. Parking shouldn’t be free in such a dense city for anyone.

    2. You know why this is really stupid? Because there is no infrastructure to actually CHARGE an electric car. How about putting in car charging stations at meters. Then maybe I will buy a Tesla, Until then, this is a joke. Then there is the issue of getting enough electric into the grid from clean sources.

      • Zeus says:

        You hit the nail right on the head.
        Charging stations.
        It takes at least three hours to recharge, so, the
        Free parking is for what? Recharge? Where?
        The idea of a recharge station at the parking space is great, but let’s call it what it is, it will never happen.

      • Auws says:

        Not sure if anyone​ who makes these laws read this, but one more vote for this point. We need to be able to CHARGE the cars otherwise you’re just providing nyc subsidized parking to people who don’t live in the city. I would deff be incenvized to buy an EV if there were charging on the street….

    3. B.B. says:

      “The bill would expire after three years.”

      In other words after Mr. Levine gets whatever political credit from this scheme, and is term limited out of office, it expires. This would leave a future city council (and mayor) on the hook to either continue or take away.

      The noive of some people.

    4. jezbel says:

      I agree with zeus. What a horrible idea. Either the City want to crack down on the number of cars here or they don’t. They can’t have it both ways. It’s not just that cars spew pollutants (and hybrids use gas til they hit aprox 30 mph) it’s that Manhattan is overwhelmed by their shear numbers. A car is a car and a hybrid takes up the same parking space as a non-hybrid. Since average speed in the City is 8.5 mph and a hybrid burns gas until it reaches a speed much higher than that, it’s irrelevant in these circumstances.

      • DenMark says:

        You have this reversed. Hybrids run without gas at low speeds. While I don’t agree with this proposal (as it subsidizes generally more affluent drivers), the city would certainly be better with a higher proportion of electric cars. No where does the proposal discuss solving congestion, so your argument is a bit of a red herring.

        • jezbel says:

          No I don’t have it backwards. I’ve own 2 hybrids. They burn gas as low speeds such as city driving. The gas also charges the battery at the same time. When a speed of about 30 mph is reached and sustained the car switches to battery only. Thus saving money on the hiway. But NOT in slow city driving. That’s how the Toyota Camry works. Look it up.

    5. Christine E says:

      I would think that more (any?) charging stations would be a more effective incentive to buy electric cars. Or are these hybrids that self-charge?

    6. Eric says:

      Yay…This will encourage everyone to go out and buy environment saving electric cars and make a huge impact on Mother Earth! Oh, wait only a tiny fraction can actually afford them.

      • Harris says:

        Not all pure electric cars cost $100,000. The currently available Chevy Bolt costs (starts at) $36,000, the Nissan Leaf about $30,000. The Tesla Model 3 is supposed to start in this range as well.

        Levine’s heart is in the right place and I appreciate government taking steps to encourage EV adoption – but I’m not sure how getting free parking in select areas on Saturday is really going to impact anyone’s buying decision in a major way.

    7. wombatNYC says:

      More Bike Lanes PLEASE!

      • Stuart says:

        To wombatNYC: if you want more bike lanes, maybe you’d be willing to pay to be tested on the traffic laws, pay to register your bike, and pay to have a bicycling license. Otherwise, where would the funds come from?

        I remember reading that cyclists want a bike lane on the Verrazano Bridge – Are cyclists willing to pay a toll for the privledge of riding over the bridge in their own dedicated lane? Or should the government bend over backwards to benefit a small segment of the population with no additional funds to support it?

        Think about it…

    8. your neighbor says:

      The reason we have parking/muni meters is to help businesses. Quick turn around of these parking spots (supposedly) brings in customers from a broader area.

      Councilperson Levine’s bill would only encourage out of town people (the people who can actually charge a Tesla/Leaf/Bolt in their home garage) to come to “the city” and hog those parking spaces all day.

      If Mr. Levine really wanted to encourage electric vehicle use, then each and every one of those LinkNYC kiosks that he voted for should have been built with a car charging port.

      This bill isn’t going to work for the people or the businesses in NYC.

    9. S says:

      This is a terrible idea. We should be encouraging people to give up their cars entirely. Free parking will only incentivize more people to buy cars and park them on the street, which benefits no one but them. Levine should think again.

    10. Mark says:

      I kept a car in NYC for many years – so expensive and stressful!
      The day I sold it was one of the happiest days in my life.

    11. Scott says:

      This will only embolden drivers from Jersey to come here and squat for an entire day. Not a good idea.

    12. Tomtom says:

      The electricity comes from a grid that gets its power from fossil fuels, stupid idea. Electricity isn’t clean power

    13. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      More bike lanes! There are too many cars in this city.

      • Jerry says:

        Less pedestrian plazas! We don’t need costumed characters asking for $ – it’s not what I want to see when I go to other destinations, so why should anyone want them here in NYC ?

    14. Nathan says:

      Yes, more handouts to rich people!

    15. CosmoOrCharlie says:

      I heard that Trump is considering a parking subsidy for coal-fueled vehicles. Plus tax credits if you leave them idling.

    16. Laadpaal says:

      Many electric car owner’s will be happy to know this. Thanks for sharing the news.