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PR- 385-09
August 24, 2009


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced three developments in the City’s use of alternative fuel vehicles, part of the PlaNYC effort to reduce the amount of carbon emitted by municipal government 30 percent by 2017 and to reduce the entire City’s carbon emissions 30 percent by the year 2030. The Mayor announced that the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will use two new hybrid electric diesel collection trucks, a hybrid hydraulic collection truck and a hybrid rack truck, the first in the country designed for heavy-duty applications; that the Parks Department and the Street Conditions Observation Unit (SCOUT) will field test ten all-electric MINI E vehicles on loan from the BMW Group; and that the Administration has launched a study to understand the electric vehicle market in New York City and how that market can be developed. At the announcement, held at the DSNY Queens West 5 garage in Maspeth, the Mayor was joined by Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty, Mayor’s Office of Operations Director Jeffrey Kay, and Jim O’Donnell, President of BMW of North America.

“Through PlaNYC, our vision for a greener, greater, New York, we’ve been dedicated to reducing pollution and improving the air quality in our City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We are encouraging people to leave their cars at home by making mass transit more accessible and attractive, but no matter how much we modernize our public transportation, there will still be trips that have to be made by car. So we want the vehicles driven in New York to be more energy efficient and use cleaner fuels. I am proud to say that City government is leading by example, with the help of good corporate citizens such as the BMW Group.”

DSNY Hybrid Collection Trucks are First in the Nation

The DSNY has added to its fleet three new first-of-a-kind hybrid refuse collection trucks and one diesel-hybrid electric rack truck. The collection vehicles, which will soon be picking up residential garbage in the city, and the rack truck, which is used for lot cleaning, snow operations and for hauling of heavy materials, are the first such vehicles to be used in the country.  

“The DSNY is proud to be the first city in the country to use these state-of-the-art hybrid vehicles,” said Commissioner Doherty. “New York’s Strongest can also be known as New York’s Cleanest.”

One of the collection trucks is a Mack TerraPro Low Entry model and the other two are from the Crane Carrier Corporation.  The rack truck is a Kenworth T370 diesel-electric hybrid truck.

These vehicles will reduce truck emissions, decrease fuel consumption and truck noise, and help collect some of the over 11,000 tons of garbage and recycling DSNY picks up every day.

SCOUT Inspectors Drive MINI E Vehicles as Part of the BMW Group’s All-Electric Vehicle Development Program

SCOUT Inspectors, part of the Mayor’s Office of Operations, drive every City street once per month and report conditions that negatively impact quality of life to 311. The SCOUT team will use the MINI E vehicles to complement their current vehicle fleet, which includes the three-wheel Interceptor scooter and city-owned sedans.

The MINI E travels about 100 miles on a single charge and provides the agility and handling of a MINI Cooper. It is powered by a 150 kilowatt electric motor with the equivalent of 201 horsepower. The energy supply comes from a high-performance rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The MINI E SCOUT vehicles are among 450 currently in the U.S., as part of a year-long field test.  The City will provide important feedback to the BMW Group about the cars.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with the City of New York to improve mobility in one of the world’s largest, most complex, and important cities,” said O’Donnell.  “Mayor Bloomberg’s plan for a greener and more sustainable New York is an innovative and exciting initiative.”

The MINI Es will be charged at DSNY garages and Department of Transportation facilities in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. MINI is installing a special wall box in each facility that can fully recharge a completely drained battery in about two-and-a-half hours. 

Inspectors driving the over 6,000 miles of City streets look for and report on quality of life conditions like potholes, graffiti, and sunken catch basins. The vehicles will also be used as part of the SCOUT quality assurance program, where at the end of each month, SCOUT re-visits a percentage of sites where conditions were previously reported to ensure that the appropriate agency took action to address the problem.

Electric Vehicle Study

Automotive manufacturers have made it clear that they will be producing electric vehicles in significant numbers in the next five to ten years. The City has launched a study to understand who would be among the first to buy these vehicles and what the City could do to help accelerate their adoption.

Electric vehicles can contribute to the PlaNYC goal of reducing transportation emissions by 44 percent by 2030, as part of the City’s overall goal of reducing emissions 30 percent by 2030.

“Electric vehicles have great potential do reduce air pollution and carbon emissions,” said Rohit T. Aggarwala, Director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. “We hope New Yorkers can be among the early adopters of this kind of vehicle. But, because New York is unique, the strategies that will encourage electric vehicles elsewhere in America may not work here. As a result, we're taking a close look to develop a cost-effective, smart strategy that is tailored for New York City.”

The study will examine New York City driving and parking patterns. Most New Yorkers do not own a car and even those who own cars may still rely on mass transit for daily commuting purposes. Many New Yorkers also park their cars on the street or in commercial parking garages, rather than in driveways or their private garages. All of these characteristics are important in identifying how to make electric cars a visible option for more New Yorkers.

The study will help inform actions the City could take to encourage private consumers to buy electric vehicles. Potential actions could include:

  • An education campaign to help consumers understand the economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicles;

  • Expedited permitting to install chargers at home or in commercial garages;

  • Rebates to lower the upfront cost of an electric vehicle; and

  • Working with automotive manufacturers and other companies to build charging facilities where City drivers currently park.
The City is collaborating with McKinsey and Company in this study. It is part of a broader research effort by McKinsey to develop an integrated perspective on electric vehicle adoption, also involving Paris and Shanghai. The City hopes to learn from these cities as the electric vehicle market matures and the City considers which strategies it may pursue.


Stu Loeser / Jason Post   (212) 788-2958

Vito A. Turso   (Sanitation)
(646) 885-5020

Kimberly Kress (BMW)   (212) 843-9394

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