New York charging toward the future?


Earlier this summer, to much fanfare, Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the city’s first and only public electric car charging station. He plugged in a Smart car at an Edison ParkFast on Ninth Avenue.

Nobody has used it since.
Within a year Coulomb Technologies, which makes the chargers, plans to install up to 300 more around the city in the belief electric car drivers will be on the road by 2011. Don’t hold your breath, say some.
“We’ve been hearing about the promise of the electric car for a hundred years,” said Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. “But until they can match conventional vehicles in price and performance, they will remain a niche of a niche market. They are going to be driveway jewelry for the rich.”
The chargers will be placed in the city’s parks and parking lots; there may even be one at Yankee Stadium.
It takes 2-5 hours to charge an electric car and cars like the Nissan Leaf, for example, can only go 100 miles before needing a recharge. And that’s without the air conditioning or heat on.
“The majority of my customers only have a car for a weekend toy,” Manny Quinones, sales manager at Manhattan Motorcars, who said he is thinking about adding an electric car to his fleet, but hasn’t yet.
“When they go out of town, they’ll wonder, ‘Will there be a charging station when I get there?’ It has to be made more practical.”