A few months ago our automobile options included an old 1994 pickup truck and our Fiat. With the Vespa, the new (to us) public transit options that come with living downtown, and the fact that our studio is less than five miles from our home, I actually remarked (and believed) that we may never have to buy another car. Ever. Well, the catalytic converter was stolen from the truck, and the cost of a replacement CC proved to be the death knell for the good ol' truck. Fiats are small, of course, but when it is your only car, and you have an 80 pound pit bull, it feels small. So here we are, car shopping. Or at least talking about car shopping. I really wanted to hold out until Elon Musk saves the world with a long range, $35k Tesla in a year or two, but I think we need to purchase sooner than that. We intend to remain a one car couple, so the Fiat may be getting traded.
I want to buy electric now, and I am willing to deal with range anxiety for a couple of years. We don't drive many miles now, and we can rent a car to go out of town. But, I can't buy an electric car.
A primary reason for moving downtown was to be better citizens and drive fewer miles. Having become friends (eh, acquaintances) with many of my neighbors, I know I am not alone. We are the demographic who care about our transportation choices. There are many people in my 20-story high rise who care about their environmental footprint, and would like to avoid oil for ethical reasons. We are the customers for electric cars. But, we can't buy an electric car.
Here's the problem: I have nowhere to charge it. I pay over $200 a month for a parking space in my building. I haven't counted, but I estimate there are 200-250 parking spaces. There are exactly zero charging stations. I have looked all around the garage for even a 120V outlet to no avail. There is currently nothing in the zoning code that requires parking garages to accommodate EVs. From my window on the 12th floor of my building, I can count 5 public parking lots/garages that also provide exactly zero charging stations.
I haven't read it completely, so please correct me if I am wrong, but it looks like going forward all new residential construction must provide for 3% of spaces to be EV charging "ready." I am not entirely sure if this just applies to wiring, or an actual charging station, but either way, 3% is way too small a number.
California has always been a leader in championing the electric vehicle. Why don't we do the same thing here? Fuck 3%, make it 50%. Make it more. And make it mandate retrofitting existing buildings. If I pay $200/month and there are 200 stalls, that's $40k/month my building is grossing in parking alone. How much would it cost to upgrade 3% (6 spaces) of the spaces? I think less than $40k.