Mayor Bloomberg is looking to make the city more welcoming for vehicles that fill up on electricity rather than gas, but the plan could face resistance from drivers who say it will only fuel more frustration. NY1's Vivian Lee filed the following report.
You could search the city all day and chances are you'd be hard-pressed to come across even one fully-electric car -- not counting the ones in government or company fleets.
But now, Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to make it easier for private drivers who do own electrics to find places to park and recharge.
The mayor says 10,000 new parking spots are created every year, mostly in new buildings and parking garages. He wants to set aside 20 percent of those spots for electric car charge stations, such as Tesla's -- perhaps the priciest electric on the market and the only one NY1 came across on Thursday.
The mayor anticipates more and more people buying electric cars. He says the city should prepare, but not everyone is fully on board.
"I think it will make a lot of people upset but I'm all for implementing or spurring change," said one driver.
"There isn't enough space now for regular cars rather than electric cars. It's a bad idea," said another driver.
Bloomberg is proposing to build the spots now rather than retro-fitting them later when costs are higher. Some charge stations already exist, like at one Upper West Side garage where several cars pull in daily, needing a charge.
Meanwhile, at another garage nearby, the charge station has not been used in months.
It all comes down to how popular electric cars are now.
At Nissan of Manhattan, NY1 was told they have sold just eight of their electric cars, the Leaf, in the last two years. They say Bloomberg's idea might accelerate sales of a car that retails for more than $30,000.
"Definitely give more exposure, will give people more confidence owning the product and its gonna be used daily, especially with gas prices right now," noted Ben Lou of Nissan of Manhattan.
The mayor's other proposal is a pilot project for curbside chargers that can refuel batteries in half an hour, instead of the standard eight.