Cost Ahead: An open letter to the subsequent New York Metropolis Mayor

by Jeffrey Prosserman
|November 5, 2021

Pricey Eric Adams,

I am a Brooklyn father who leased an electrical automobile initially of the pandemic as a result of I used to be involved my toddler is perhaps uncovered to COVID on the subway. Shopping for an electrical automobile not solely appeared like a very good well being measure for my household, it was additionally a call to cut back greenhouse fuel emissions and keep away from air air pollution.

Whereas searching for parking on the streets of town, I shortly realized that different New Yorkers will not drive electrical with out public charging. I discovered that there have been pitifully few locations to cost my automobile and that the one choices have been paid parking. Public charging is a mandatory improvement for electrical automobiles to be a sensible different to gasoline-powered automobiles.

With rising sea ranges, rising temperatures, violent storms and widespread flooding, greenhouse gases are suffocating the way forward for our metropolis’s kids. Visitors in New York Metropolis releases greater than 15 million tons of greenhouse gases into the ambiance annually. Throughout your tenure as mayor, you have to speed up the transition to electrical transportation to save lots of New York.

A Tesla charging station in New York Metropolis. Photograph: Paul Sableman

Officers declare 20 p.c of NYC’s two million autos might want to change from fuel to electrical by 2030. Presently the full is lower than one p.c. To realize a path to web zero emissions, based on Bloomberg, 60 p.c of recent automobile gross sales throughout this era should be electrical. Reaching this bold aim would require an infrastructure overhaul and brave management.

We all know {that a} scarcity of charging stations is a significant impediment to the adoption of electrical autos. Of the 1,600 chargers in NYC and Westchester – which is nowhere close to sufficient – most are behind the paywalls of pricy parking garages. This overpriced choice is just out of attain for many New Yorkers. Of the extra seen choices, Tesla successfully has a charging monopoly by proudly owning over 70 p.c of NYC plugs. Metropolis drivers who personal an electrical automobile from one other automaker subsequently have far too few charging choices.

This lack of handy and reasonably priced charging prevents many New Yorkers from pursuing clear transportation choices. With greater than half of NYC’s automobiles parked on the road, drivers want a public charging station close to their residence to make shopping for an electrical automobile handy.

Final March, London Mayor Sadiq Khan labored with the personal sector to attempt to retrofit lampposts into chargers. There at the moment are plans to deploy 50,000 lantern chargers throughout the UK to get individuals to drive electrical. New York ought to comply with an analogous technique for loading lampposts for dense city streets.

In September, the New York Division of Transportation introduced plans for a public charging community with 40,000 chargers and 6,000 quick chargers. Officers say this wants to extend to 220,000 public chargers by 2050. In the meantime, analysis in Europe and China means that we’d like a public charger for each 10 electrical autos.

Regardless of setting objectives, NYC public loading simply is not rising quick sufficient. To drive the e-mobility transition, you want to quickly ramp up the supply of public chargers that mix into the NYC neighborhood cloth. We’d like your brave management to speed up the development of a good charging community. With out elevated dedication, New York has no likelihood of turning into CO2 impartial by 2050.

This charging community would improve gas availability, metropolis revenues, and native jobs. The town wants to make use of information to find out charging places and construct a resilient system much like the CitiBike rollout. Politicians should rethink the fitting of method and parking laws. With out fast motion, NYC might plummet.

This data-driven charging community should additionally prioritize fairness and security and requires inclusive planning with suggestions from residents. NYC authorities must work collectively to match the efficiency metrics for lowering carbon emissions from transportation and power. As increasingly more electrical automobiles hit the street, you additionally must focus solely on renewable electrical energy era. Completion of this power transition will allow really emission-free transport.

You will have eight years, two phrases, and an opportunity to attain clear transportation objectives. From the second you are taking workplace, you want to double up NYC’s public chargers and democratize entry. What’s going to your legacy be? Let’s transfer ahead to create a extra resilient and sustainable future for my son and all New Yorkers.

Jeffrey Prosserman is a PhD scholar in Columbia College’s Sustainability Administration program and the founder and CEO of Voltpost, an organization that retrofits lampposts into electrical automobile chargers.


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