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    City Council About to Kill EV Program for Residents

    Remember that whole “we’re staying in the Paris agreement” hype that Mayor Kenney preached last June?

    Apparently City Council DGAF.

    As Jim Saksa of PlanPhilly reported, City Council held a hearing on Monday to advance a bill that kills a city-wide program that has allowed residents to create “EV-Only” parking. These spots in front of resident’s homes were established at their own expense, which was an estimated $2000 to $5000. Although only 68 residents have taken advantage of the program, it is part of the city’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Greenworks iniaitive.

    The Philadelphia’s Electric Vehicle Policy Task Force (yes, this was actually a thing) concluded that the current program was not efficient. Instead, the EV Task Force identified fluffy solutions to promote EV use in the city. These suggestions include:

    • Establishing rules to implement the existing law which allows curbside charging in public right of way;
    • Continuing to promote low-carbon transportation options including existing options such as mass transit, walking, and biking;
    • Encouraging EV charging installation in new and existing off-street parking facilities;
    • Exploring public-private partnerships with charging infrastructure providers;
    • Encouraging EV fleet adoption; and
    • Increasing EV awareness with partner organizations through improved marketing, outreach, and education.

    You can read the full report on OTIS’s website.

    Killing this program entirely is a step backward for the city’s ambitious climate change goals. These EV chargers take 4-8 hours for vehicles versus 10-20 hours for regular home outlet chargers. EV sales have boomed 800% over the last 5 years, but remain a small portion of the market due to hurdles like charging. Ironically, Mayor Kenney DID sign on to support an EV tax credit in December.

    If the city wants to be a leader in fighting climate change, it would be wise to actually take steps to encourage people to make sustainable life choices… like buying an Electric Vehicle.

    The final vote should be during City Council’s session tomorrow. Want to share your opinion? You can contact bill sponsors Councilman Squilla, Councilman David Oh or the rest of City Council to tell them how you feel.

    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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