As part of his final State of the City speech today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will call for a major push towards making Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs more electric vehicle-friendly. To kick off that mission, Bloomberg will ask city council officials to amend building codes and institute mandates requiring landlords to ensure 20 percent of new parking spaces — both public and private — "will be wired and ready for electric vehicles.” Such changes would add up to 10,000 EV-ready spots over the next seven years, according to estimates. While some of those will be private, it's still a broad improvement over New York's current efforts: CBS reports 100 publicly-available charging stations are within city limits right now. Things have fared better statewide, with governor Andrew Cuomo last year laying out plans to install 325 chargers across the Empire State. That initiative comes at a projected cost of $4.4 million.
In the eyes of many drivers, such charging stations will need to reach ubiquity to make electric vehicles a viable replacement for gas-powered cars. As New York Times writer John Broder can likely attest, plenty of work remains for New York (and the east coast at large) to hit that goal.