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Queen’s Co-op Installs NYC’s Largest Residential EV Charging Station

Emily Myers in Green Ideas



Sandra D. Aikens, president of one of the co-op’s four boards, with the charging equipment at Hilltop Village Co-op. (Photo Courtesy Con Edison)

Hilltop Village Co-op is leading the charge on electric cars — literally. The nine-building, 900-unit complex in Queens now boasts New York City’s largest residential EV charging station, with 423 chargers across its garages and outdoor parking lot. What’s more, the impressive installation was done without touching the reserves or increasing maintenance. The co-op, which is managed by AKAM, has four boards, all of which voted to approve the installation more than two years ago. In addition to combating climate change, “the beauty of this program is it didn’t cost us money,” says Sandra D. Aikens, one of the co-op’s four board presidents.

The total cost of the project, $8.4 million, was offset by a generous $4,985,000 incentive from Con Edison’s PowerReady program, as well as some $500,000 in NYSERDA funding. The remaining $3 million shortfall was absorbed by the energy solutions company DVM Industries, which installed the equipment and holds a 10-year contract to operate the stations. 

Even though there are currently only around 20 co-op residents driving electric or hybrid vehicles, early feedback to DVM Industries indicated shareholders were keen to make the switch to EVs. Aikens is among them. “It’s the future for everyone,” she says. She also saw the benefits of providing an amenity that could increase the value of apartments at no cost to the co-op.

The Level 2 chargers — which can charge a vehicle overnight — will generate various streams of revenue over the next 10 years for DVM Industries. An annual $480 activation fee is paid by shareholders wanting to use a charger in their reserved parking spot. DVM Industries benefits from a price differential in the cost of electricity. Con Edison provides power to the charging stations at $0.21 per kWh and customers pay $0.36 per kWh. “We make the spread between 21 cents and 36 cents per kWh as revenue,” says James Justice, founder and executive vice president of DVM Industries. 

Additionally, both DVM Industries and shareholders can participate in demand response programs through Con Edison’s SmartCharge program, earning cash rewards for off-peak charging from midnight to 8 a.m. throughout the year. (Although charger settings can be manually overridden, the software won’t initiate vehicle charging until midnight.) Drivers with compatible cars can earn up to $400 a year for off-peak charging. In an additional revenue share, Con Edison pays DVM Industries $0.03 per kWh when customers charge off-peak.

Perhaps the most significant revenue for DVM Industries, however, is an annual demand response payment to the company of $350,000 for deactivating chargers from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., June through September. This commitment is valuable to Con Edison because it prevents the grid being overwhelmed on summer’s hottest days. This payment alone over the next 10 years recoups DVM Industries’ investment in the project.

The installation, completed in early 2024, involved coordination by Jay Strobing, senior management executive at AKAM, who oversaw driveway closures, communicated to residents if vehicles needed to be moved, and served as the point person for Con Edison and contractors. “We are very happy with the outcome knowing we are well suited for today’s EV needs and future EV advances,” he says. 

Indeed, included in the incentives for Hilltop Village Co-op is $785,000 for so-called future proofing, providing electric capabilities if stations are upgraded or more need to be added. “It’s that wiggle room you need if you have a huge increase in tenants interested in buying EVs,” says Con Edison PowerReady program manager Soli Shin.

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