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Electric vehicle infrastructure startup Gravity thinks it has cracked the code for urban EV charging infrastructure’s.
The company, which was founded in February this year, announced its construction project to convert an indoor parking garage in the middle of Manhattan into a public EV fast charging hub. When the 29-space garage on 42nd Street, which Gravity is hiring from real estate firm Related Companies, opens within a few weeks, it will be the island’s first dedicated EV charging space. Based on Gravity’s plans to scale, it won’t be the last.
The company says that we would probably see five to 10 fast charging sites of different capacity in Manhattan over the next six months or so. The company has gone to dozens of sites in the five boroughs. After visiting, those site company also made a survey to power grid and have planned to scale because it doesn’t work as a one-off.
Finding a place to park your car in New York is a nightmare. Looking for a charger for your EV is like finding a unicorn and probably an expensive unicorn at that. Most of NYC’s EV charge points are behind the literal paywalls of parking garages, where you might find one or two Blink or EV connect chargers nestled into a sea of ICE vehicles parking spaces. With Gravity Hub, parking is totally free while cars are being charged. The only thing you have to pay is the cost of electricity.
Image Source: Automotive News
Gravity is not the first to recognize the problem of charging electric vehicles in an urban core. Electric mobility company Revel, Electric mobility Revel, first known for its hared e-mopeds around New York City, opened the city’s first public fast charging hub in an outdoor lot in Brooklyn this past June. New York electric utility company, has supported both initiatives with its electric vehicle charging incentives and rewards.
Gravity’s first site will accommodate about 22 fast chargers, three intermediate chargers and a few slow chargers. All of the fast chargers are up to 180 kW, which means that even when two vehicles are plugged into one installation, each plug can do 90 kW of energy. Cohen says anything below 80 kW isn’t truly fast charging, and many of the companies that claim they offer fast charging are really only able to put out around 62.5 kW. Cohen also says by sending that current through 400 amp charging cables, even smaller volt batteries like those in Teslas can receive more than 80 kW.
The intermediate chargers use about 24 kW to 30 kW equipment and charge cars within one to three hours. The slow chargers charge overnight or within six to eight hours using 11 kW equipment. Many of the parking spots will be taken up by Gravity’s fleet of Tesla Model Y Yellow Cabs, which will charge overnight.
“People think of mobility as this drain of cash and nobody has figured it out,” said Cohen. “I actually think that mobility and infrastructure are going to get solved together, and you’ll be able to make margins off utilization that are generous.”