Many of us sense that the path to a livable planet, to bringing the climate back into balance, hinges on the mantra: Electrify Everything and Upgrade the Electricity Grid.

half the length, as much fun, and powered by wind & sun!

For personal transportation, this translates to electric cars. When making a new car decision, households as well as fleet managers should focus on electric cars. The Philadelphia Office of Sustainability tells us that Philadelphia is part of 30 cities seeking a combined purchase of 114,000 electric cars for future fleet purchasing

Our local policy must encourage electric cars and help solve a new problem they raise: Where to charge up? This is easy enough for someone with a private garage. But a majority of our urban residents park on the street, overnight.

Our Mayor Kenney, when he was a Councilman, had the foresight in 2007 to allow owners

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of electric vehicles to apply for special reserved parking spaces, where they could install curbside charging stations. Ten years later, with less than 60 such permitted spaces, our current Council intends to place a moratorium on new curbside EV parking spaces, prompted by one resident’s complaints to Council members Oh & Squilla. See this February 2017 article in the Inquirer: Philly City Council wants to pull the plug on electric vehicle parking spots.

An article last week in Philly Magazine: The City Wants to Put an End to Philly’s Electric Vehicle Parking Program, tells us that there’s already a moratorium on new parking spaces, even the 12 applications submitted to the PPA. I hear that an application in Mt Airy, far from Center City, is also on hold.

There was a hearing on March 20th, when the 12 suspended applications were released. Looking at the revised bill, it appears that Council is putting a stop on installing limited hour signs for those 12 already approved to install charging stations. This is an undue financial burden placed on these EV owners who invested in charging stations due to city approval & now can’t even get limited hour signs installed.

We sense this is just the beginning of many discussions about EV charging, and the dedicated parking this might require. Councilman Oh has mentioned an interest in implementing best practices from other cities. Another City Council hearing is scheduled for this Thursday, March 30th 2017 at 10am, per agenda herebill here.

  • Location: City Hall, Room 400, Philadelphia PA
  • Bill: 170093, introduced by Councilmembers Oh and Squilla is an ordinance amending Section 12-1131 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled “Electric Vehicle Parking,” to impose a moratorium on new electric vehicle parking spaces, under certain terms and conditions.

If you can, and are willing to come speak, please call the Chief Clerk at 215-686-3410 and ask to be added for public comment on Bill 170093. You’re also welcome to just come to listen and learn.

Robert Monk, a Philadelphia resident and an electrician who has installed numerous EV charging ports in town, authored an extensive letter in response to the January 30th 2017 hearing on the matter of electric vehicle parking spaces. His letter to staff of City Council Members Oh, Squilla, Domb and Blackwell, Mayor Kenney and the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability is reproduced here.

This was originally written by Meenal Raval for 350 Philadelphia and published here.