With Paris Climate Talks Underway, Mayor de Blasio Announces NYC Clean Fleet - Launching the Largest Municipal Electric Vehicle Fleet in the U.S.

December 1, 2015

City Will Cut Municipal Vehicle Emissions in Half by 2025, 80 Percent by 2035 – Another Key Step Toward 80 Percent Reduction in All Emissions by 2050

NEW YORK—With the United Nations Conference on Climate Change underway in Paris, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today the launch of NYC Clean Fleet: a comprehensive plan to create the largest electric vehicle fleet of any U.S. city, cut municipal vehicle emissions in half by 2025 – and 80 percent by 2035 – and serve as a model for the private sector and other 21st century cities in fighting climate change.

“A cleaner, greener fleet is yet another step toward our ambitious but necessary sustainability goals, including an 80 percent reduction in all emissions by 2050,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “By building the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet in the country – and potentially the world – New York City is continuing to lead by example. Cities are setting the pace on climate action – and with our city and our planet's very future at stake, we need national leaders in Paris to take note and take action.”

NYC Clean Fleet is the latest in a series of ambitious but necessary climate initiatives outlined in Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan, with a long-term goal of reducing all greenhouse gas emissions across the city 80 percent by 2050.

Overall, the transportation sector accounts for nearly one-quarter of citywide greenhouse gas emissions. City-owned and operated vehicles account for approximately four percent of citywide transportation emissions, or 13 percent of the City government’s emissions, creating the polluting equivalent of an 80 MW coal power plant. 

The full NYC Clean Fleet plan is available here.

NYC Clean Fleet will do the following:

  • Replace approximately 2,000 fossil fuel sedans with plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), which, combined with the over 300 EVs currently on the road, would mean EVs will make up half of the City’s non-emergency sedans and create the largest municipal electrical vehicle fleet in the United States and, potentially, the world. Sedans are the single largest category of vehicles in the City fleet, and this transition would reduce gasoline consumption by approximately 2.5 million gallons a year and reduce the City fleet’s emissions by nine percent by 2025.
  • Expand the use of anti-idling, hybrid, and stop-start technologies in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as sanitation trucks, to substantially reduce emissions and gasoline use while at rest. These technologies can reduce a vehicle’s fuel consumption by up to 33 percent and total fleet emissions by five percent.
  • Increase the use of alternatives to traditional diesel fuels, including higher biodiesel blends, compressed natural gas, or renewable diesel, to displace the use of traditional diesel fuel in City vehicles by 2035. These diesel alternatives are estimated to reduce emissions by 34 percent.
  • Release a Request for Information for additional cutting-edge technology solutions for both light- and heavy-duty vehicles, including advanced battery EVs, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, compressed natural gas vehicles, and other clean fuels.
  • Adopt best-practices in fleet management that limit the usage of SUVs based on specific security or operational needs, promote eco-driving to optimize fuel efficiency through education and training, and expand the use of car and ride sharing to support more efficient vehicle use.
  • Partner with private and other government fleets, as well as non-profit groups, while leveraging City purchasing power, to serve as an example and galvanize greener fleets across all sectors. 

The City will immediately move to implement NYC Clean Fleet, including through converting light-duty vehicles to EVs through the existing vehicle replacement cycle and identifying additional siting options for EV infrastructure.

Purchasing the new electric vehicles can be done without new operating expenditures, as the relatively marginal additional cost of EVs will be offset by fuel savings, reduced maintenance savings, and increased resale value.

The City expects relatively incremental capital costs over the next ten years to support necessary upgrades to electrical systems in support of new charging capacity.

“We are walking the talk. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions in our own fleet will also cut air pollutants that trigger asthma and other respiratory diseases. NYC is leading the way to show that the technology is here and the costs are manageable. Cities can show the world that cutting emissions does not at all have to be too hard when you use the tools of governance the right way. It’s the right choice to make for future generations,” said Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.

“NYC manages the largest and one of the greenest municipal fleets in the United States. DCAS has been working with City agencies to implement sustainable approaches including plug-in electric vehicles, hybrids, biodiesel, natural gas, and even solar units. We look forward to growing these efforts together and meeting these new ambitious targets,” said Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Stacey Cumberbatch.

"On the heels of the UN Climate Conference, NYC, under Mayor de Blasio's leadership, is taking great steps with the launch of the NYC Clean Fleet initiative with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas admissions by 80 percent by 2050," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee. "In order to reduce the irreversible damage we have already done to Mother Earth we must take steps starting right here in our city."

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council's Environmental Protection Committee, said, "Cutting the emissions of our city vehicles in half by 2025 will bring us closer toward our goal of reducing our carbon emissions citywide by 80 percent by 2050.  By replacing 2,000 fuel-burning cars with electric vehicles, creating the largest electric vehicle fleet in the country, we show the world that combating climate change requires bold solutions. Our city is a national and global leader in environmental protection and this policy will help our city serve as a role model in both the public and private sectors across the globe. As the climate change talks in Paris this month show, the stakes are higher than ever and it's clear that we need to be innovative if we are to keep our planet safe from the damaging effects of greenhouse gas emissions. I thank Mayor de Blasio for his bold vision on the sustainability of our city."

“New York City will lead by example with a clean fleet as a model for leading by example in combating transportation pollution," said Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations. “Thank you to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the OneNYC team, as well as DCAS Commissioner Stacey Cumberbatch, for making this a reality.”

“As leaders across the world meet to discuss addressing climate change and working to make our Earth greener, here in New York City we are also echoing those same sentiments,” said Council Member Richards, Co-Chair to the OneNYC Advisory Board. “The launch of the NYC Clean Fleet introduces an integral component in outlining our vision to become a truly sustainable city. We have set an ambitious goal to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions across the city 80 percent by 2050, and with the NYC Clean Fleet we will be taking real steps to achieve it. Once again, due in part of the leadership of Mayor de Blasio, New York City is paving the way for our 21st century cities to be cleaner and greener.”

"Today's announcement is exciting for everyone who lives and breathes in New York City. The switch to electric vehicles will cut down on carbon emissions, and I'm particularly pleased the City will expand the use of anti-idling technology. I am grateful to Mayor Bill de Blasio for his leadership in getting New York City to reduce its impact on climate change," said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.

“The new NYC Clean Fleet is a laudable plan to create a cleaner and greener City for all residents. By cutting municipal car emissions in half by 2025, NYC is setting an example that can be followed by other cities across the country. Greenhouse gas emissions pose a real danger to the environment and society and we must do all that we can to limit their impact. This innovative plan is a step in the right direction,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

Assembly Member Latrice Walker said, "As Chair of the New York State Subcommittee on Renewable Energy, I am pleased that New York City is exploring innovative ways to reduce toxic emissions and its impact on health care disparities. I look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio in an effort to protect our environment while supporting a clean energy economy".

Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick said, "I am thrilled that the Mayor has prioritized the environment through his announcement of Clean Fleet. Climate change is a real threat to New York and far too often environmental issues fall to the back burner. With such rapid advances in technology, there is no reason why we can't continue to do more to protect our environment. Clean Fleet is a great step towards the City's reduction of its carbon footprint and look forward to additional initiatives."

"New York is leading by example, thanks to Mayor de Blasio's initiative to cut municipal vehicle emissions in half by 2025," said Representative Carolyn B. Maloney. "Those of us who trust science more than marginal skeptics know that climate change is a serious threat and action must be taken. I am hopeful that talks in Paris will yield concrete action, and that the actions of progressive state and municipal governments will add to that effort. We must act locally, and act globally, and it's great that our Mayor takes the challenge to heart."

Representative Nydia M. Velázquez said, "Slowing climate change and preserving our planet requires collaborative efforts at all levels of government. This program will make great strides in reducing emissions and our city's carbon footprint and I'm pleased federal resources are helping New York City be a leader in this area."

“To create a climate-friendly transportation network, part of what is needed are the twin strategies of electric vehicles and a clean power supply. Mayor de Blasio’s plan to create the nation’s largest municipal electric vehicle fleet is a smart step along the road to a more sustainable transportation future,” said Eric A. Goldstein, New York City Environment Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Smart, forward-thinking policy decisions like converting the majority of New York City’s fleet to electric vehicles – combined with Mayor de Blasio’s recent efforts to explore options for using 100 percent renewable energy to power City government buildings – will deliver tremendous benefits to New Yorkers, businesses and the environment. This effort is yet another great example of NYC’s continued leadership in seeking innovative solutions to help build a more sustainable city,” said Rory Christian, NY Clean Energy Director of the Environmental Defense Fund.

"WE ACT applauds Mayor de Blasio for his announcement of the NYC Clean Fleet initiative. This initiative puts New York City way ahead of the cities working on curbing climate change and sets the bar for others to follow. What’s even better is that by replacing 2000 fossil fuel sedans with electric vehicles, the Mayor’s plan will not only fight the climate crisis, but it will help millions in communities like East, Central and West Harlem and Washington Heights to breathe easier and have fewer asthma attacks. Well done!” said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

"We applaud Mayor de Blasio and the great City of New York for making this important electric vehicles commitment, the next step in the City's many recent bold climate commitments, that will slash greenhouse gas emissions in New York City and serve as a model worldwide,” said Gina Coplon-Newfield, Director of the Sierra Club's Electric Vehicles Initiative.

Gunjan Parik, Head of the C40 Transportation Initiative, said, “Global Cities are working to reduce their transport emissions, and municipal fleets are a key part of these endeavors as they are owned or controlled by cities. Today the city of New York, a member of the C40 Low Emission Vehicles Network, is showing the way forward with the launch of NYC Clean Fleet, by raising the bar for cities around the world. C40 cities are taking note, and we look forward to more cities joining New York in setting strong targets for reducing emissions from their municipal fleets.”

“Moving toward electric vehicles is an essential part of the nation and the world's agenda to fight climate change. New York City's action today is of great significance, both substantively and symbolically,” said Professor Michael B. Gerrard, Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.

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