The Real Estate Board of New York to The City Council Committees on Housing and Buildings and on Fire and Emergency Management Hearing on Electric Vehicle Chargers

Ryan Monell

Vice President of Government Affairs

February 28, 2024

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We appreciate the opportunity to testify on Proposed Intro. Number 17-A, regarding installing electric vehicle chargers and charger infrastructure in parking lots and garages.

Bill: Intro 17-A—2024

Subject: This legislation would require that (1) 20% of spaces in existing parking garages and lots install electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) by 2035, and that these structures have the capability of supporting EVSE in 40% of spaces by 2035; and (2) that new garages and lots or those undergoing alterations have 20% of spaces with EVSE installed and 40% of spaces capable of supporting EVSE. These percentages only apply to garages and lots that are registered with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection .

Sponsors: Justin L. Brannan, Farah N. Louis, Lincoln Restler, Althea V. Stevens, James F. Gennaro, Gale A. Brewer, Crystal Hudson, Eric Dinowitz, (by request of the Queens Borough President)

REBNY supports the goal of this bill to make electric vehicle charging equipment more available. Doing so will further the City and State’s ambitious plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the transportation sector by facilitating the transition from gas-powered to electric vehicles. Scaling up EV infrastructure, along with intensive efforts to green the electric grid, will also help to improve local air quality.

REBNY urges the Council to consider the following practical challenges that must be addressed should this legislation move forward.

First, we appreciate that the bill provides a number of waivers and exemptions for situations where meeting the requirements of the proposed legislation is very difficult or even infeasible. The bill would be improved by strengthening the exemption for garages and lots associated with buildings that are 100% affordable as these buildings are least able to manage the added cost of the project without tapping into highly limited City subsidies. A more explicit exemption for these properties is therefore appropriate..

In addition, because existing lots and garages must be updated to meet the bill’s requirements by 2035, we do not think it makes sense to have a second standard for such facilities that are undertaking alterations. The reality is that upgrading electric infrastructure in existing facilities is expensive and time-consuming. Allowing existing facilities until 2035 to comply with the law acknowledges and responds to that reality. Furthermore, many alterations undertaken at a building will pertain to other aspects of the garage or lot that are unrelated to electric capacity, for example a roof replacement or lobby renovation. Therefore, the bill should exclude alterations of existing structures from its mandates.

Once again, REBNY appreciates and supports the Council’s desire to increase the capacity to charge EVs in New York City. Such an effort is vital to cutting the use of fossil fuels and therefore greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to collaborating with you to help shape the smartest and most effective approach to doing so. Thank you for this opportunity to submit testimony on this proposed legislation.