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August 27, 2017

Newly assembled task force will guide policy on Philly’s electric cars

If you've ever spent an aimless 20-30 minutes driving around Center City in search of street parking, chances are you've noticed a few curbside charging stations for electric cars scattered throughout the area.

Earlier this year city council put a moratorium on legislation that issued parking permits for owners of electric vehicles (EVs), also halting legislation allowing EV owners to install charging stations in front of their homes.

Though the original bill allowed electric car owners to apply for installation permits starting back in 2007, a whopping zero permits were requested for the first five years. Curbed reports about 60 have been processed since 2012.

The debate around the moratorium centered around parking concerns and availability versus environmental and air pollution concerns.

To deal with these debates and other issues surrounding the use of EVs in Philly, the city has assembled ]the Electrical Vehicle Task Force.

“EVs are becoming progressively more common in Philadelphia, but increased EV use raises many complex questions,” said Michael Carrol, deputy managing director for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems, in a statement.

“Drawing from a broad and diverse range of stakeholders, this task force will ensure that all perspectives are heard and that realistic, workable policies are set.”

In addition to working with questions over EV policy, they will also help implement a broader transportation strategy in how EVs relate to transit, walking, and cycling.

“Establishing the Task Force with a broad array of perspectives is an important first step in the effort to create an EV policy that will work for all Philadelphians in the years to come,” said Councilman Mark Squilla, a member of the task force, in a statement.

From now through early 2018 the 14-person task force will put together its policy recommendations, coinciding with when the moratorium on the EV charging station legislation will expire as well.