Curbside EV Charger

Filling up with curbside electrons

tubus energia ora



Description

Curbside EV chargers supply power to electric vehicles while park curbside. It typically installs on a pole or pedestal near the curb, and drivers can access it through a mobile app or other payment method. The charger provides various charging speeds, ranging from slow trickle charging to fast DC charging.

Identification

Each brand of charger might have unique shape and color. All chargers share a metal or plastic pole or monolith housing, typically including at least one cable with nozzle for connecting to the EV. The housing may feature a charging status indicator, such as an LED light or digital display, to show the charging progress. 

Habitat

Primarily curbside on major thoroughfares. 

Range

Throughout the five boroughs.

Examples


Discussion

DC Fast Charging, the fastest electric car charging option available that can provide up to 250 miles of range per hour, depending on the car and the charging equipment. The DC Fast Charging can charge up to 80% of an electric vehicle’s battery in typically 20 to 30 minutes, akin to a bird taking a brief rest before continuing its journey. Non-Tesla chargers often have a CCS/SAE Combo connector. However, do note that Tesla DC fast chargers will only work with Tesla vehicles. 

Many EV chargers can also be found using smartphone apps or online maps, which display the location and availability of charging stations in real-time. These apps may also provide information about the type of charger available, the charging speed, and any fees or payment methods required. Curbside EV chargers can promote the adoption of electric vehicles by making charging more accessible and convenient for drivers without private charging stations.

We need to think really hard on if these photos show the future we wish to bring to life. The urban street is constrained; unless we want to demolish many more buildings, a Mid-Century mistake we regret, we should not install and provide curbside electric vehicle charging. We should eliminate internal combustion engines. There are better mobility solutions which utilize our limited public space in a more equitable and fair manner. In dense cities we need to design the street around people – walkers, bikers, e-bike riders, deliveries – then provide space and infrastructure for private cars. Plopping private car EV chargers on every sidewalk repeats our past mistakes.

Climate impacts

While EV reduces point emissions from vehicles, which account for 82% of CO2 emissions, without full decarbonization throughout the system the emission gains move the emission to central generating plants. Additionally, EV’s are increasingly heavy due to the battery weight and automakers want to produce only SUV’s (to increase sales and to get around CAFE standards). Increased vehicle weight directly increases the danger to bikers and pedestrians.

In the end, the Curbside EV Charger should be seen as an invasive species in the urban context, and all means should be taken to keep it in it’s natural habitat, the parking garage, suburban and rural homes.

Further reading


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