But Who is going to Pay for It?


But Who is going to Pay for It?

New York’s nanny Mayor Bloomberg is at it again. Now he wants to change building codes to require new parking facilities to have 20% of their spaces equipped with EV chargers. Read all about it here. I think the idea is great! — My only problem – just who is going to pay for it?

If I build a 500 car facility in the Big Apple, that means that I would be required to install 100 EV stations in my garage.  That would increase the cost of my project what, $2.5 million (at $2500 per charging station). But I guess billionaire Bloomberg feels that’s a small price to pay.

The next question, of course, is how do I allocate those spaces? Do I reserve them only for EV’s?  Do I charge EV owners extra to park there? Do I turn away gas powered vehicles when I have 75 open EV spaces and the rest of my garage is full? How do I police it?

The article also notes that they are beginning a ‘test’ using Nissan Leafs as taxis. Let’s see, the Leaf has a range of 73 miles (EPA says so), and the average distance drives by a taxi in NYC is 180 Miles per 12 hours shift and you get an 80% charge in half an hour, and you would have to charge 3 times to get to that 180 miles so the taxi would be off the road an hour and a half during the 12 hour shift.

It would also mean that drivers would have to turn down many fares if the distance they were asked to drive (say to JFK or from the battery to the upper west side) was further than their current range.

It would seem that the city would do well to test vehicles that at a minimum met the requirements of the job, rather than testing a vehicle that based on cursory review of the stats, was doomed to fail.

I know that the crew supporting charging stations are already cancelling their subscriptions to PT because I deign to ask a few questions. Hey — bring it on? Give me a hint as to how these pure EVs make sense — A Prius, A Volt, sure — go for it. Extend your mileage and save the environment. But until there is a breakthrough in battery technology, I just shake my head.

By the way, I’m seeing a ton of Prius taxi’s in LA.  And trust me I’m sure they drive more than 180 miles a shift out here.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

5 Responses

  1. John,

    I believe you’ve drawn an erroneous conclusion. The petroleum industry receives more subsidies by far than any other form of energy. (See: http://www.eli.org/pdf/Energy_Subsidies_Black_Not_Green.pdf for a graphic representation)

    So, you and I probably own that gas station around the corner and we’ve also probably paid for it several times over.

    Also, it should not come to any of us as a surprise that among the profitable corporations are also those that receive significant taxpayer subsidies with Exxon in the top spot followed by Chevron (source: CNNMoney, May 2012)

  2. Casey — I am an equal opportunity hater when it comes to government subsidies. I hate them all — oil companies, farmers, education, student loans, wind farms, battery makers, auto companies — pick a subsidy.

    However, I reread my piece three times, and I can’t for the life of me figure out where I drew any conclusion — right or wrong.


    1. John, I’m referring to your February 1 post.

      “So back to my question. Who is supposed to pay for the charging stations? When we began driving gasoline powered vehicles, the gasoline companies paid for the stations. Why is it the responsibility of my company, or my university, or my garage owner to pay for the charging stations? Certainly why is it the responsibility of the government to pay for the stations.” You have missed the fact that you are paying for your neighborhood gas station – and then some.

      My point is that through perverse subsidization the petroleum industry has reaped huge profits while tethering us all to their unsustainable resource. If for even short period of time the tables where turned and alternatives received what petroleum has received we’d all be driving electric vehicles.

  3. Mark send in the following:
    Wonder if the Mayor understands how long it takes for those rechargeable batteries to “break down” after they wear out?
    “……Styrofoam, lasts for centuries before breaking down …..”
    How about adding 10,000 car or van pool spaces, that would have an immediate impact on the environment, fuel consumption and congestion. Plus, it wouldn’t require any infrastructure investment or ongoing operating expense, in fact by reducing the number of cars on the road it could actually reduce current costs.

    Mark Rimmer
    RTA Consulting, Inc.
    (904) 545-0999

  4. You have it wrong. “If I build a 500 car facility in the Big Apple, that means that I would be required to install 100 EV stations in my garage. That would increase the cost of my project what, $2.5 million (at $2500 per charging station) ” WRONG faulty mathematics: 100 x 2500 = 2$250,000 not 2.5 million

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