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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming to Some Queens Neighborhoods, Activists Calling for More

A FLO electric vehicle charging station (FLO Inc. via Facebook)

Aug. 6, 2021 By Allie Griffin

New York City is getting its first curbside charging stations for electric vehicles — but many activists want more stations than what has been allotted for Queens.

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced in June that it would install 120 curbside charging ports in 23 neighborhoods across the five boroughs by October through a partnership with Con Edison and FLO, the maker of the chargers.

The DOT will install multi-vehicle chargers in three Queens neighborhoods. There will be chargers at three locations in Astoria, one location in Jackson Heights and one in Laurelton. Some residents, however, were disappointed that Jamaica and Flushing, two large communities of color, will not be part of the initial roll-out.

“Disappointed to learn the publicly-funded project to create 100 Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations in NYC will exclude Flushing and Jamaica, NY’s largest immigrant communities of color and small business centers,” The Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce tweeted following a virtual presentation on the pilot program Wednesday.

The DOT, however, said that the first 120 charging ports is only part of a limited pilot program and the first step in shifting the city towards electric infrastructure.

“Given the size of the pilot — just 120 charging ports — it was not possible to include every community in the five boroughs,” a DOT spokesperson said in a statement.

“DOT is excited to hear for additional calls for curbside EV charging in Flushing and Jamaica (which the latter currently has an EV charging station in the Family Court municipal garage) and looks forward to working with these neighborhoods and other communities to expand charging opportunities across the the city.”

The agency selected charger port locations based on input from local elected officials and community stakeholders, geographic diversity, and projected demand for charging.

“The pilot areas were selected based on feedback from elected officials, community boards, and the general public, and include a wide diversity of communities from East New York in Brooklyn, to Jackson Heights in Queens, and to Washington Heights in Manhattan,” the spokesperson said. “These neighborhoods reflect the economic, racial, and ethnic diversity of New York City.”

The DOT has already begun construction to prepare for the installation of the multi-vehicle chargers in Queens and expects them to be operable by fall.

The Queens locations are listed below.

Astoria: 33rd Street between 31st Avenue and Broadway; 35th Street between 30th Avenue and 28th Avenue; 38th Street between 36th Avenue and 35th Avenue

Jackson Heights: 72nd Street between 37th Avenue and 35th Avenue

Laurelton: 225th Street between Merrick Boulevard and 135th Avenue

Charging will cost $2.50 per hour during the day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and $1.00 per hour overnight. A daytime charge will be equivalent to fueling up at a gas station, while overnight charging may be more than 60 percent cheaper, according to the DOT.

The number of electric vehicles in New York City has grown dramatically in recent years. There are now 15,000 registered electric vehicles citywide — more than 5,000 of which were purchased by residents just in the last year.

The charging stations pilot aims to meet the demand of existing electric vehicle owners and to encourage more New Yorkers to make the switch to electric.

(DOT)

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