ONENYC: Mayor Announces City Electric Vehicle Fleet Ahead of Schedule, Half Way Toward Goal

April 20, 2017

New York – In advance of Earth Day on April 22, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that New York City’s municipal vehicle fleet is ahead of schedule to meet its target of adding 2,000 electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025. The City’s vehicle fleet currently boasts more than 650 EV sedans and more than 75 Stealth ambulances, which run on battery power rather than idle their engines to support on-board services. The municipal fleet will have 1,000 EV sedans by the end of July 2017, halfway toward the Clean Fleet goal, with eight years still to go.

“Just over a year ago, we committed to bring more EVs into the city fleet, making a more sustainable city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I am proud to say that we’re well ahead of schedule. Now it’s time to go further, by working with partners to build the infrastructure needed to make these vehicles of the future more accessible to New Yorkers. When it comes to meeting the challenge of climate change while creating a more just and equitable city, New York is leading the way.”

In light of this rapid expansion, Mayor de Blasio today also announced a bold new target for 20% of the motor vehicles sold for use in New York City to be electric by 2025, up from less than 1% today. This commitment includes an initial $10 million capital investment to support fast charging infrastructure that will extend access to electric mobility across the city. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) will jointly direct this strategic investment along with complementary partnerships and policies to meet this EV penetration target, while taking into account the potential impacts on car ownership and traffic volumes to avoid exacerbating congestion on city streets.

One critical partnership for expanding EV penetration got underway this week, as Con Edison announced a plan to invest up to an additional $25 million in innovative EV strategies and infrastructure. The company released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking partners with the expertise to work on projects such as placing public fast chargers in the city and putting more than 100 EV chargers on NYC sidewalks. These would be the first-ever public street chargers in the city and a step toward serving the many New Yorkers who do not have their own driveways or parking lots. Fast charging could enable the electrification of taxis, carshare, passenger cars and delivery vehicles.

In addition, a new EV workplace charging program being funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), with support from DOT, was launched earlier this year. The “Charge to Work” program is a partnership between NYSERDA, DOT, CALSTART, Empire Clean Cities Coalition, ChargePoint, ABM, and NESCAUM. Recognizing that the presence of vehicle charging stations at the workplace is a strong predictor of EV adoption by commuters, Charge to Work will engage employers in and around New York City to provide incentives for the installation of more than 100 vehicle charging stations at workplaces in hopes of stimulating adoption of more than 450 EVs in the greater metropolitan area by 2020. Charge to Work supports the Governor’s Charge NY initiative, which is accelerating the growth of electric vehicle market in the state through education, research, consumer outreach and financial support for the installation of charging stations throughout New York state. 

Also earlier this year, New York City joined 29 other U.S. cities in issuing a joint Request for Information (RFI) to invite automakers to address an unprecedented expression of demand for EVs. New York City’s municipal fleet represents more than 20% of the nearly 114,000 vehicles captured in the RFI and contributes to a powerful message that cities will lead the way on clean vehicles as federal support for transportation sustainability recedes.

“New York City’s goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 requires a deeply decarbonized transportation network. The rapid expansion of the NYC Clean Fleet initiative is one way that New York City will continue to lead by example to achieve this target,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the NYC Mayor’s Office. “Today, we are thrilled to highlight the significant progress in expanding our fleet of electric vehicles ahead of schedule, while also announcing new initiatives and partnerships to make electric vehicles accessible to more and more New Yorkers.”

"Mayor de Blasio has committed to reducing New York City's carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, and expanding opportunities for electric vehicles in New York City will be a key part of that effort,” said New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “New York City will prove that it is possible to shrink the environmental footprint of transportation while at the same time improving mobility, access, and travel choices that make our city more livable for all.”

“Every day DCAS is working to make the largest municipal fleet the safest and most sustainable. By adding more than 1,000 electric cars we are taking yet another critical step toward meeting this goal,” said Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camilo. “NYC will continue to lead by example as we ensure the City’s fleet is a clean fleet, supporting the goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2050.”

“Electric vehicles are not technologies for tomorrow. They are here now. They are increasingly affordable and they are a crucial part of our OneNYC goal to creating the most sustainable big city in the world,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “Investing in our own fleet and creating smart pathways for the private sector to transition to electric vehicles is an essential part of reducing our NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.”

“In honor of Earth Day, our city is serving as a role model on combating climate change.  We have already begun to implement policies that encourage sustainable habits including driving electric vehicles.  Our legislation for a pilot program that brings electric vehicle charging stations to every borough has broken barriers to increased use of these vehicles.  Mayor de Blasio’s newly announced goal to increase these charging stations will spur further adoption.  Thank you to the Mayor's Office of Sustainability and the Department of Transportation for their great partnership on reducing carbon emissions,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council's Environmental Protection Committee.

“I am proud to join our mayor as he announces this ambitious goal. At the City Council, I joined Council Member Constantinides to pass legislation to bring more charging stations to our city and I am glad that more are on the way! Electric vehicles can help to seriously reduce our impact on the environment. With advances in electric vehicle technology, these cars can stay on the road longer between charges, and with more stations, they become much more attractive options to New Yorkers than the gas guzzling alternative. While New York has enough options that moving around without a car is easy, if you absolutely need one, electric is the smartest way to go,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair, Committee on Transportation.

“Deploying a cleaner, increasingly electric-powered vehicle fleet is more than a smart investment," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "It’s a bold statement that shows governments, large organizations, and even individuals can make a difference by investing in these world-saving technologies,” said Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President.

“Without question, electric cars are finding their place in in New York's transportation marketplace. These vehicles are cleaner and more environmentally-friendly. So, I am glad the City of New York is increasing its fleet of electric vehicles, a fleet that includes ambulances that run on battery power to provide onboard services. I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts intended to increase the City’s robust green energy initiatives,” said State Senator Jose Peralta (D-Queens).

“Mayor de Blasio’s actions in support of increasing the number of electric vehicles on New York’s streets show a commitment to a cleaner energy future, a goal that Con Edison shares,” said Craig S. Ivey, President of Con Edison. “We look forward to continuing our work with the mayor and his administration to make vehicle charging more convenient, as electric vehicles become a better value. With wise planning, we can manage their impact on the grid and see that the growth benefits our customers.”

"New York City's bold new 20 percent target for electric vehicle purchases will be an important spur to the marketplace and to city policymakers," said Michael Northrop, Program Director, Sustainable Development, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

“The mayor’s decision to install more electric vehicle charging stations throughout the five boroughs is proof that New York City is investing it the future,” said Rory Christian, Director, New York Clean Energy at Environmental Defense Fund. “Electric vehicles will help reduce pollution, improve air quality, and position the city to benefit from wider policy changes envisioned by the State’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative.”

“New York City continues to be a climate leader by electrifying its own vehicle fleet and working to reduce transportation-related carbon emissions through innovative programs,” said Luke Tonachel, Senior Analyst and Director, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The public and private partnerships highlighted today will expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure and improve access to clean cars for all New Yorkers.”

“We believe Charge to Work is an EV Workplace Charging initiative that can be replicated throughout communities in New York and the Northeast,” said Alycia Gilde, Northeast Regional Director at CALSTART. “Charge to Work not only incentivizes EV adoption, but fosters a community culture for partnership and sustainability.”

“With the progress New York City has already made toward electrifying its vehicle fleet and with today’s important commitment to reach 1,000 electric vehicles this summer, New York City is tackling the climate crisis while improving air quality for its residents," said Kat Fisher, Sierra Club’s New York Electric Vehicles Initiative organizer. “The Sierra Club commends Mayor de Blasio's progress on his commitment to creating the largest city electric vehicle fleet in the nation - a model for cities and towns worldwide.”
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