Electric cars: Bloomberg plugs in, but New Yorkers tune out

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the addition of 70 new hybrid cars tothe city’s fleet yesterday, but New Yorkers have yet to buy in to thehybrid hype.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the addition of 70 new hybrid cars to the city’s fleet yesterday, but New Yorkers have yet to buy in to the hybrid hype.



As part of the PlaNYC initiative, the mayor plans to install 100 hybrid charging stations across the five boroughs.



As of today there are 35 — and they’re all collecting dust.



Nana Ansah, the manager of an Edison FastPark in Greenwich Village, has had an electric charging station in his garage for about a year.



And so far, out of the 120 and 130 cars that come and go daily, he's only seen two drivers juice up their electric vehicles.



“We get so excited when one comes in,” said Ansah. “We never get to use the charger!"



Drivers pay between $3 and $6.50 for the electricity and an hourly rate for parking in the garage. Cars take about two hours to charge.



“We’ve had that charger for four months and we’ve only had four people use it,” echoed Siro Villalono, 44, a manager of a FastPark in TriBeCa “No one knows how to use the charger. There are not too many electric cars in New York.”



Each charging station costs anywhere between $3,000 and $7,500 to install, according to Jerry Reich, CEO of Green Power Technology, a company that distributes charging stations. The charging stations are funded in part by a $2-billion national grant from the federal Department of Energy.



But Bloomberg’s dream of electric streets may still be a ways away.



The most attention the electric charger at Garage Management Co in the West Village is by the confused.



“Most people ask, ‘What is this?’” said manager Rico Paillant of his company’s charger. “No one’s ever seen it before. They don’t know what it is.”

 
 
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