The AtlanticThe Atlantic

EVs make parking even more annoying

By Henry Grabar

09 May 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Access to parking is about to become critical to decarbonization efforts, as a lack of space to park and plug in might be one of the great factors limiting the spread of EVs, reports The Atlantic.

Recently, I was chatting with a friend who drives an electric vehicle in New York City—and parks it at the curb. There are no curbside chargers in his neighborhood, so powering up requires dipping into a nearby garage for a few hours, or driving to a curb in a different neighborhood entirely. Full battery? Move that car or keep paying the charging company. Studying the charging landscape to save time, money, and energy has become “his whole personality,” he told me. As he sent me image after image of prices, charging maps, and street-parking setups, I could see he wasn’t totally kidding.

The Biden administration wants half of new U.S. vehicle sales to be electric by 2030. As this plan proceeds, EVs will get cheaper, the used-EV market will grow, and rural charging options will increase. Simply put, these vehicles will cease to be a symbol of wealth, or even environmentalism. They’ll be normal. And one of the great limiting factors on their ownership will be the space to park and plug them in. A good parking spot, in the electric-vehicle era, is about to become more important than ever.

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