New York City could be about to make a major step towards increasing electric car adoption in the city.

NTC Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants a fifth of all new parking spaces to be wired up for, and set aside for electric vehicles.

According to Transportation Nation, Bloomberg's prepared notes for Thursday's State of the City address said electric car spaces would be written into city building codes.

“This year we’ll pilot curbside vehicle chargers that will allow drivers to fill up their battery in as little as 30 minutes. We’ll work with the City Council to amend the Building Code so that up to 20 percent of all new public parking spaces will be wired and ready for electric vehicles.”

Zoning laws in the city require parking spaces to be built with every new building--typically, under or next to the building.

10,000 spaces per year are created this way, and around a fifth of those may now be set aside for electric cars. If the proposal goes ahead, over 10,000 new electric vehicle spaces would be created over the next seven years.

That would hugely increase the number of available chargers, too. Currently, the City has 100 public charging stations, with another 120 for the city's own fleet of electric vehicles.

Private companies have installed several more, with around 400 expected by April.

When we tested a Mitsubishi i back in August, we found public charging relatively easy to locate--if expensive. Currently, there are just over 2,000 electric cars registered in the five boroughs of New York, so charging is little issue.

10,000 extra spaces should make things even easier however, and encourage more drivers into electric cars.

Two curbside developments with fast-charging stations would also be tested, allowing compatible electric vehicles to recharge in only 30 minutes. One of these, outside the ConEdison Building, will serve NYC's fleet of six Nissan Leaf taxis.

The proposals haven't yet been confirmed, and there's plenty of red tape to cut through before projects like this go ahead--but it would certainly make plug-in vehicles a more attractive option in the city.


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