By Scott Etkin
The transportation sector is the city’s second largest source of pollution, behind only buildings, accounting for almost a third of greenhouse gas emissions. So, it’s good news that the use of New York’s network of public curbside electric vehicle (EV) chargers is on the rise, according to a new report from the Department of Transportation (DOT).
The chargers were in use 99.9% of the time from July 2021 to December 2022, the findings showed, and the overall utilization rate of the system grew from 14% to 34% in the second year of the study. The three chargers on the Upper West Side were among the most used in the city.
“From month to month, the ten sites that were most heavily used — based on utilization and monthly session count — are, with one exception, on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side of Manhattan, and in Carroll Gardens and Park Slope in Brooklyn,” the report says. One reason the UWS uses its public chargers this much is because its EV adoption rate is “at the minimum, twice as high as the citywide average.”
The Upper West Side’s three public curbside charging stations, which have two plugs each, recorded the following usage in December 2022:
- 76th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus had 126 sessions (46% utilization rate)
- 84th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus had 136 sessions (50% utilization rate)
- 93rd Street between Columbus and Central Park West had 171 sessions (60% utilization rate)
Across the system, nearly 79% of charging sessions occurred during peak hours (6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and 21% occurred overnight. The median charging session length was just over three hours.
“The program’s utilization and reliability has exceeded the agency’s expectations,” DOT said, but challenges remain. One problem is that gas-powered cars park in spaces reserved for EV charging. “Blocked charger spaces will likely remain an issue, but present more of an inconvenience to users than a fundamental challenge to the program’s effectiveness.”