In his State of the City address yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg announced new plans that he explained could create “up to 10,000 parking spots for electric vehicles over the next seven years.” This massive expansion of electric vehicle (EV) charging capacity would be achieved through amendments to the city’s building code requiring that 20 percent of all new parking spaces in private developments be wired for EVs.

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According to Jim Motavalli’s article in the The New York Times, the details of the building code changes have yet to be worked out. Initially, writes Motavalli, “the requirement will focus on installing electrical conduit during the construction phase that can easily be threaded with wiring, not actually requiring chargers.” The actual charging units could be installed as demand grows. New York currently has 100 public charging stations, with 50 more to be added this year.

In his speech, Bloomberg called New York “the most tech-friendly, transparent government in the country” and said he wants to make the city a “national leader” in EVs. In addition to the building-code amendment, he says the city will be piloting quick-charge charging stations “that will allow drivers to fill up their battery in as little as 30 minutes as opposed to the normal eight hours.” He also said the city will be adding 50 more EVs to its fleet. The first six fully electric taxis will also go on the road this week with a goal of making one-third of the city’s taxi fleet electric by 2020.”

These electric vehicle projects, along with other transportation initiatives announced in the address, are programmed to help achieve a key goal – giving New York the cleanest air of any big city in the country. “Remember: Clean air means you live longer. Even if you don’t care about climate change, cleaning our air is good for your health,” said Bloomberg.

+ 2013 State of the City Address by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

Photos courtesy of the City of New York. Credit: Spencer T. Tucker.