NORWOOD, Bronx (WABC) -- New York City is installing its first curbside electric vehicle charging stations in the Bronx.
It's part of a pilot program that hopes to make it easier for people to use electric vehicles citywide.
The city has surprisingly few charging options, contributing to the impracticality of electric vehicles in the city.
The Department of Transportation is hoping by October to have 100 charging ports for public use. Another 20 ports will serve the city's fleet of electric vehicles.
"Transportation is responsible for nearly 30% of the city's greenhouse gas emissions, most of which come from passenger cars," said NYC DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. "With sales of EVs at record levels, now is the time to develop a robust, convenient, and publicly accessible charging network so that more New Yorkers can go electric. The new charger we put into service today, and more coming soon, will help fulfill our agency's mission of providing safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible transportation - and we thank our partners at Con Edison and FLO for making it possible."
There are currently 15,000 electric vehicles registered in the city, but charging options are limited.
About 1,400 level-2 charging plugs, which provide an 80% charge in four to eight hours, and 117 fast-charging plugs, which offer an 80% charge in 30 minutes to an hour, can be found across the city.
The vast majority of those are in Manhattan parking garages.
DOT, Con Edison, and FLO came together to unveil the first curbside charging port.
"We are very pleased to inaugurate our first FLO chargers in New York today, beginning with the Bronx. This is an important milestone for FLO as we deploy our network across all five boroughs and accelerate our expansion in the United States," said Louis Tremblay, President and CEO of FLO. "Widespread EV adoption needs to be supported by reliable and accessible charging infrastructure. Thanks to a fruitful collaboration with Con Edison and NYCDOT, this is exactly what we are starting to present to New Yorkers today."
DOT Commissioner Gutman, Lenny Singh, Senior VP of Con Edison's Customer Energy Solutions, Ben Furnas, Director of the Mayor's Office of Climate and Sustainability, and Council Member Eric Dinowitz were all on hand at the unveiling in the Norwood section.
"Convenient curbside charging for EVs is a game-changer especially for those without access to private parking and charging ports," Singh said. "We're working closely with the city and state to make it easier for all New Yorkers to replace gas-powered cars with zero-emission electric vehicles, and enjoy the benefits of cleaner air and a healthier environment as Con Edison continues its efforts to achieve its clean energy goals."
"The future is coming, and it's electric!" Furnas said. "After the most transformative year on New York City streets in generations, we are going further to reclaim our streets from fossil fuel vehicles by providing more New Yorkers with access to curbside EV charging stations. Even as we transform our streetscape to make it safer and more pleasant to get around on foot, by bike, and on transit, a shift towards electric vehicles will mean cleaner air, quieter neighborhoods, and lower greenhouse gas emissions for all New Yorkers. Congratulations to the Department of Transportation and Con Edison on this exciting milestone."
Providing EV charging at the curb will make the switch to electric easier for more New Yorkers, including the 50% of EV owners who park on the street. The program was made possible through funding by the New York State Public Service Commission's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative.