Car Charging Group Plugs in with Manhattan Parking Lots ...

The route to a fully charged electric vehicle runs through the parking lot. At least that's the path followed by the Car Charging Group, a Florida-based electric-vehicle service provider that announced on Monday it is teaming up with Icon Parking Systems to install plug-in stations at some of Icon's more than 200 garages and lots in Manhattan. In July, Car Charging Group announced a similar deal with Laz Parking, which has 1,350 facilities in 21 states."We're aligning ourselves with where the cars are parked," said Michael Farkas, chief executive of Car Charging Group."Recharging times are kind of long, three or four hours, so gas stations seem like the wrong environment for E.V.'s," he said. "What makes more sense are shopping centers, strip malls and parking garages-where the cars are going to be."Mr. Farkas said that, in many cases, big-box stores, supermarkets and similar businesses do not own the land they occupy, so it makes sense for charging companies to deal with very large institutional real estate owners and operators. "Otherwise, we'd have to go to each individual landowner to get approval," Mr. Farkas said.Under the arrangement, the Car Charging Group will install, own, maintain and upgrade the charging stations, and the parking facilities will share in the revenue.Mr. Farkas said charging rates would vary considerably based on time of day and the different regional costs of electricity, but in states that allow it, consumers would pay 50 cents a kilowatt-hour.Charging electric vehicles is not as simple as filling a car with gas, because some do not allow full discharge or 100 percent charge. So the phrase "fill 'er up" is somewhat theoretical in these cases. With only a 16-kilowatt-hour battery, the Chevrolet Volt would (theoretically) cost $8 for a complete "fill up" at that rate. But the 24 kilowatt-hour pack in a Nissan Leaf would cost $12 for a zero to 100 percent charge.According to Andrew Kinard, president of the Car Charging Group,many states do not allow billing by the kilowatt-hour, though that could change. In states with that restriction, the company will charge $3 an hour for charging, he said, which will put cars with slow charging rates at a disadvantage.The Car Charging Group will install Level 2 (220-240 volts) stations from Coulomb Technologies that can fully charge a vehicle in several hours. Mr. Farkas said the company was also enthusiastic about Level 3 fast charging (440-480 volts) because with half-hour recharge times it can move vehicles through the stations more quickly. "It means we can push kilowatts to cars much faster and make money faster," he said.The parking operators are enthusiastic. "It's a way to create value for our clients and to get the halo of green technology for our properties," said Michael Barelli, vice president of leasing and development at Laz Parking. "It's an attractive deal for us." He said the company planned to install 100 chargers in the New York-New Jersey area "soon."Mr. Barelli said electric vehicle chargers would make sense at residential buildings with parking facilities and commuter lots, among other locations.A team of New York Times contributors blogs about news, trends and all things automotive. Check back for insight, photos, reviews of cars and more. And remember to join the conversation - you can comment on the cars, offer your own reviews, and post questions in our reader comment area.

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Car Charging Group Plugs in with Manhattan Parking Lots ... 1

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