An all-electric Nissan LEAF joins the fleet at Seward Park Co-op's Connect by Hertz program.
On Friday at noon, Seward Park Cooperative will officially unveil its new electric car program, which includes the recent arrival of a Nissan LEAF all-electric car, and the installation of electric vehicle charging stations back in March.
The event takes place at 413 Grand Street at the co-op’s parking area along Clinton Street. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Sen. Daniel Squadron and members of Community Board 3 are expected to be on hand to celebrate, as well as officials from ChargePoint America, which provides the infrastructure for the charging systems. The new car will join the fleet of Connect By Hertz, a program that houses on-demand short-term rental vehicles at various locations, including Seward Park’s garage.
If you’ve walked past the Seward Park Co-op, along Clinton Street, lately, you might have noticed something new in the driveway. Alongside the “Connect-by-Hertz” rental station, there are two new electric car charging stations.
The co-op recently purchased four charging units (two are located in an underground parking garage), becoming part of a special program to make New York City “plug-in ready.” The ChargePoint America Program, partially supported by federal grants, is outfitting NYC with 200 “pumps.” Less than 20 have been installed so far. Half of the Seward Park program was paid for through grant money.
Right now, of course, there aren’t a lot of electric cars tooling around the neighborhood. The hope is that will begin to change once the charging stations start to become more numerous across the city. The Seward Park pumps will be available to the general public. Charging an electric car costs a lot less than paying for a tank of gas (it amounts to about 75 cents a gallon, we’re told).
Seward Park board member Michael Tumminia came up with the idea for the charging stations. “I’m excited that the Seward Park Co-op is helping to make the Lower East Side the most plugged in neighborhood in the city,” he said. Last year, the co-op debuted “Connect-by-Hertz,” a short term car sharing service.