- EV charging startup itselectric has partnered with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Hyundai CRADLE to test curbside chargers in New York City this year.
- These curbside chargers can be installed at no cost to property owners, and can produce $1000 or more each year in income for the site owners.
- Curbside charging is viewed as a crucial type of infrastructure for apartment dwellers, as several U.S. states prepare to transition to ZEV-only sales by 2035.
As New York state prepares to
phase out the sale of internal-combustion cars and light trucks by 2035, signs of progress toward that goal in the state's largest city can be simultaneously abundant and also dispiriting. Large charging plazas are still years away from being commonplace, and EV ownership in the city often means a dedicated Level 2 charger in a garage at home.
But apartment dwellers who own cars will also have to contend with the 2035 goal, and this goes not only for New York City residents but the entire state. Absent a charger at home, will all car owners have to spend time each week waiting for their cars to be charged at some station?
This is the problem that curbside chargers hope to address, but progress in their adoption has been lacking, mostly due to the investment and construction required.
A new effort by Brooklyn-based startup itselectric, in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Hyundai CRADLE, will test curbside chargers of its own design in the city later this year. What's more, the company is the only charging network that actually offers a revenue sharing model to owners of residential property.
"The United States has high goals for electric vehicle adoption, but the country is not currently prepared for what this means in terms of accessible charging," said Nathan King, CEO & Co-Founder of itselectric. "Our technology is specifically built for cities to ensure that every community—no matter the median income or prevalence of driveways and garages—has access to clean transportation."
The Network Won't Charge Property Owners
The company partners with individual property owners who want to install chargers as a source of income, with itselectric analyzing the electrical panel and the curb for suitability. If a site seems like a good fit, itselectric installs and maintains a Level 2 charger at no cost to property owners, which is powered by spare energy from a building's electrical supply. EV owners who become members of the network can then locate a charger and use it.
The company says property owners who host chargers can earn amounts starting at $1000 per charger per year.
The pilot program will see six charging posts at two locations starting this spring: at Steiner Studios and at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. The posts, with fully detachable cords, will be used for two months by local EV drivers recruited from the area, and will remain operational for another four months after the initial pilot period.
itselectric has been named as a finalist in Hyundai CRADLE's EV Open Innovation Challenge, selected based on its potential to improve the charging experience for vehicle owners and expand access to EVs.
Will This Idea Spread Outside NYC?
"itselectric's modular AC charging solution brings low-cost, revenue-generating infrastructure to traditionally underserved urban communities around the country," said Olabisi Boyle, Vice President, Product Planning and Mobility Strategy, Hyundai Motor North America. "Hyundai is dedicated to a greener future and our partnership with itselectric will help us achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2045."
Of course, progress will have to happen on a wider scale not only in New York City, but also across the state and the entire country, as more states adopt 2035 as a target date for switching to ZEV-only new vehicle sales. Charging plazas are in the works for NYC, but even now it's clear that curbside charging providers will have a lot of ground to cover in the next decade, especially in areas underserved by large charging stations, as EVs become more of a common vehicle type for many.
Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum. Despite being followed around by French cars for the past decade, he has somehow been able to avoid Citroën ownership, judging them too commonplace, and is currently looking at cars from the former Czechoslovakia. Jay has been with Autoweek since 2013.