A charging station for electric bikes and scooters equipped with a secure storage area is coming to the De Hostos Apartments at 201 West 93rd Street.
The project is part of a new pilot program – “Charge Safe, Ride Safe: New York City’s Electric Micromobility Action Plan” – that Mayor Eric Adams announced on Monday, March 20. Con Edison will work with NYCHA in implementing the stations.
This is the only station currently being planned in Manhattan. There are three additional stations in the works – two in Queens and one in Brooklyn.
The Micromobility Action Plan also includes supporting the Deliveristas Hubs, the initiative first announced in October which would use existing infrastructure to create charging stations. (That’s the one which led to the proposal to convert the newsstand on 72nd Street, which was rejected by Community Board 7.)
“I am hopeful that this is the first of many steps in trying to keep the community safe as well as ensuring people are able to provide a living at the same time,” said Cynthia Tibbs, Tenant Association President for West Side Urban Renewal Brownstones in a statement to ILTUWS.
Back in August, Tibbs and Councilmember Gale Brewer held a press conference outside the De Hostos Apartments to discuss the dangers of refurbished lithium-ion batteries that can catch fire in some e-bikes. From 2021 to 2022, these kinds of fires resulted in 10 deaths and 226 injuries, according to a press release from Mayor Adams’ office. So far in 2023, they have resulted in two deaths and 40 injuries.
Once implemented, Con Ed plans to gather information from the charging stations to see if ridership increases, in addition to evaluating if the charging stations with secure storage outside leads to reduced indoor charging, which is seen as dangerous.
“E-bikes are here to stay and have become an important part of city life,” said Councilmember Brewer at Monday’s press conference. In a statement to ILTUWS, Brewer added,“I suggested De Hostos to Con Edison because there’s a good amount of space there and the residents expressed interest. We are in the early days of creating a safe built environment for e-bikes and e-scooters which is important for Deliveristas and for the evolution of transportation in New York City. There is of course still work to do on battery and traffic safety, but the idea is to get to a point where electric mobility devices, which cause less congestion and pollution, are good alternatives to cars.”
Currently, the specifics on where the charging station will go and how many they’ll be at the De Hostos Apartments are still being worked out. The final decision will be in accordance with FDNY safety guidelines.
Learn more about Charge Safe, Ride Safe here.