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Mayor Adams Signs Bill Paving Way for Electrification of All City Government Vehicles

October 23, 2023

City Fleet On Path To Be Fully Electric By 2038

City Installing Solar Carports At NYCHA Parking Lots And Introducing Electric Vehicle Car-Sharing Program for NYCHA Staff

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today signed Intro. 279-A, formally codifying the city’s goal of transitioning its automobile fleet to all zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) by 2038. The legislation cements New York City’s status as a national leader in promoting sustainability across areas of city government operations and will save nearly $90 million in taxpayer funds over four years, building on the Adams administration’s work to improve sustainability across city buildings, public schools, food production and consumption, and city-licensed vehicles, as well as expand upon ongoing work to provide a greener city fleet.

Additionally, Mayor Adams and New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock today announced an agreement that will bring four solar carports to New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing parking lots throughout the city. The carports — canopies with solar panels to generate renewable energy — feature a storm-resilient design and are the first of their kind on NYCHA properties. Further, the agreement includes the introduction of electric vehicle car-sharing for NYCHA staff through an online reservation system. Together, the solar carports and car-sharing program will yield lower emissions and provide clean, renewable energy for NYCHA vehicles.

“When it comes to delivering greener city vehicles, New York City is leading the charge,” said Mayor Adams. “Electric vehicles reduce emissions and make our air cleaner, helping us meet our sustainability goals and improving quality of life for countless New Yorkers. We are already ahead of schedule in meeting our electric fleet transition goals, and this legislation will help build on that progress even faster. And we know a just transition will require the support of our partners in labor, which is why I’m pleased to see robust protections in this bill for the men and women who power our city’s fleet. This is how we ‘Get Sustainability Done.’”

“From wildfire smoke to record rainfall events, we know that climate change is here, and it’s affecting New Yorkers right now. We also know that the people who will feel it most are predominantly low-income Black and Brown communities: Those living in basement apartments, flood-prone areas, and public housing,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “If we want a cleaner, greener future for all New Yorkers, we must prioritize those who are bearing the brunt of these extreme weather events — and our city must lead by example. Today we are doing just that by signing Intro 279-A into law, and broadening our efforts to make sure public housing workers and residents can be part of a just transition.”

“NYCHA housing complexes are often located in neighborhoods disproportionately affected by climate change, so this newly revamped partnership affords us an opportunity to improve the quality of life for some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said DCAS Commissioner Pinnock. “As the city’s service provider, we are committed to supporting our sister agencies and ensuring they have the resources necessary to perform their critical work and minimize any harmful environmental impacts. Through this partnership with NYCHA, we can offer renewable energy sources to help reduce emissions, grow our electric vehicle charging network, and offer car-sharing to alleviate stress on NYCHA’s fleet.”

“NYCHA remains steadfast in our commitment to combating the climate crisis while improving the quality of life for residents,” said NYCHA Chief Executive Officer Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “With today's announcement, as the nation's largest housing authority, we take a considerable step toward reducing emissions on and around NYCHA campuses across the five boroughs. We thank Mayor Adams and his administration for their ongoing dedication to public housing residents and look forward to NYCHA contributing to a greener, healthier, and more energy-efficient city for all New Yorkers.”                     

“DCAS is leading one of the nation’s largest fleet electrification initiatives with over 4,800 plug-in vehicles and 1,805 charging ports,” said DCAS Deputy Commissioner and Chief Fleet Officer Keith Kerman. “Today, in partnership with the City Council, we take the next step and codify the electrification of the fleet by 2038 into law. We are proud to make this announcement at a NYCHA facility where DCAS will also help make the transition to zero emissions with new shared electric vehicles and solar carports. Shared zero-emission vehicles powered by the sun: It’s a reality today and a vision for tomorrow.”

Intro 279-A — sponsored by New York City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers — requires all light- and medium-duty vehicles procured by the city after July 1, 2025, to be zero-emission vehicles, and it requires all light- and medium-duty vehicles in the city’s fleet to be zero-emission vehicles by July 1, 2035, with certain exceptions. It also requires all heavy-duty vehicles procured by the city after July 1, 2028, to be zero-emission vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles in the city’s fleet to be zero-emission vehicles by July 1, 2035, with certain exceptions. Further, it requires that all motorcycles in the city’s fleet be zero-emission vehicles by July 1, 2035.

Mayor Adams has taken bold steps to align the city’s fleet management policies with his administration’s sustainability goals. As of September 2022, DCAS had already reached its 2025 goal of transitioning 4,000 vehicles in the city fleet to electric vehicles — three years ahead of schedule. The city currently operates over 4,800 electric vehicles in its fleet and 1,805 charging stations throughout the five boroughs. Additionally, last year, Mayor Adams announced a reduction of the city’s vehicle fleet by at least 855 vehicles in an effort to save taxpayer dollars and reduce carbon emissions. DCAS has reduced total fleet fuel use 16 percent over the last five years.

The newly installed solar carports will charge vehicles with renewable solar energy and provide a resilient charging design with the battery elevated above the ground to protect against flooding. The addition of green energy infrastructure reflects the city’s commitment to resiliency and preparation for the full electrification of the city fleet by 2035. The new solar carports were installed this summer located at:

  • Bronx: Sotomayor Houses, 1090 Rosedale Avenue, Bronx, NY 10472
  • Brooklyn: Cypress Hills Houses, 1260 Sutter Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11208
  • Manhattan: Lexington Houses,
  • Queens: Ravenswood Houses, 35-35 21st Street, Astoria, NY 11106

In total, NYCHA will have five DCAS solar carports at on public housing campuses, including an earlier model placed at the Governor Alfred E. Smith Houses in Manhattan in 2017. With the expansion of DCAS’ agreement with NYCHA, the agency continues to rapidly grow its network of solar carports. In February 2023, DCAS announced the addition of 71 solar carports to its charging network. DCAS and NYCHA will add additional sites as the solar carport network continues to grow.

In addition to the solar carport installations, this expanded agreement introduces an all-electric car-sharing option for NYCHA staff. Since 2016, DCAS has been offering a citywide pool fleet of all-electric vehicles to be made available for shared interagency use through online reservations. Now, NYCHA staff will be able to utilize these shared units with the intention of reducing the agency’s emissions and the strain on its own fleet resources. To start, four DCAS shared electric units have been deployed at NYCHA facilities for use.

“New York City continues to set the standard for sustainability by becoming the largest city in the nation to require its fleet to be entirely made up of zero emission vehicles,” said New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The council is proud to champion legislative efforts to address the environmental and health impacts of vehicle pollution, reduce our carbon footprint, and prepare our workforce for the repair and maintenance of electric vehicles. I thank Majority Leader Keith Powers for his leadership on this critical legislation, my council colleagues for supporting policies that transition us to a more sustainable future, and Mayor Adams for signing the bill into law.” 

“New York City continues to lead the country in creating a greener, more sustainable world. Today’s signing of Intro. 279 enacts a historic piece of legislation that will drive down our city’s carbon footprint and advance environmental justice,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers. Starting in just two years, our city’s fleet of over 30,000 vehicles will lead the way towards a zero-emissions future. I am proud to have worked with numerous partners to have made today a reality.”

“As chair of the New York City Council's Committee on Environmental Protection, Resiliency, and Waterfronts, I am proud to have co-sponsored Intro 279-A,” said New York City Councilmember James Gennaro, chair, Committee on Environmental Protection, Resiliency, and Waterfronts. “This legislation will not only decrease harmful pollutants from our atmosphere and save the city taxpayers $90 million over four years — it also helps to support union jobs. I would like to thank Councilmember Powers for authoring this bill, and my council colleagues for supporting it. I would also like to thank Mayor Adams and Speaker Adams for prioritizing this legislation and remaining committed to a more sustainable New York City.”

“I represent an environmental justice community with over 9,000 families living in public housing next to FDR drive, which exposes them to harmful air pollution resulting in higher rates of asthma and other negative health outcomes,” said New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera. “We have an opportunity to lead by example and use the size of our municipal fleet to show what is possible with zero emissions technology while making real progress in reducing CO2 emissions. By investing in zero emissions technology and infrastructure, we help build a strong foundation to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.”

“The new zero emissions vehicles bill is another step towards climate justice and racial justice for minorities and low-income New Yorkers who have long been exposed to higher levels of pollution in their neighborhoods,” said New York City Councilmember Julie Won. “Ravenswood has long been known as ‘Asthma Alley’ due to the burden of air pollution by the power plants surrounding the NYCHAs in Western Queens. Western Queens is also the home to the largest liveries and this transition will allow for sustainable jobs and economic growth while also moving towards a cleaner environment.”

“Once again, New York City is showing the nation how it can fight the climate crisis, clean up air pollution — especially in its most vulnerable communities — and set a national precedent for reducing vehicle emissions,” said Ben Jealous, executive director, Sierra Club. “The ZEV4NYC bill signing is a crucial step in transitioning our nation’s municipal fleets to electric, and mayors, governors, and President Biden should follow the city’s lead. The Sierra Club thanks Mayor Adams for his leadership and celebrates the work of countless volunteers who made passage of this bill possible.”

“The New York City Central Labor Council (NYC CLC), AFL-CIO applauds the signing of this important legislation, which will enable our city to meet our critical emissions goals while at the same time prioritizing the just transition and retraining of city workers who may be affected by the electrification of New York City’s fleet,” said Vincent Alvarez, president, NYC CLC. “We look forward to continuing to work with the city as we move towards a successful clean energy transition.”

“By working with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and partnering with NYCHA, the city has developed a plan that’s a win-win for all: a renewable energy source that helps reduce emissions,” said Gregory Floyd, president, Teamsters Local 237; and vice president at-large, General Board of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Electric vehicle charging stations located in NYCHA parking lots and an electric vehicle sharing program for NYCHA staff are much needed improvements. I congratulate Mayor Adams for signing into law Intro 279-A and Councilmember Keith Powers for sponsoring this important initiative for their forward thinking and innovative legislation that offers so many New Yorkers access to cutting edge technology.”

“Intro 279 which requires the purchase of zero emission vehicles by the city is a critical piece of legislation that will help New York City address climate change,” said Joseph A. Colangelo, president, SEIU Local 246.  The legislation not only moves New York closer to a goal of zero emissions, it also supports the members of SEIU Local 246 who will make this transition a reality. I would like to thank Council Member Keith Powers who spearheaded this bill. Additionally, I also want to thank the Speaker, Adrianne Adams, and the entire city council for overwhelmingly passing this bill, and to Mayor Eric Adams for signing it into law.”

“Communities of color and individuals of low-income backgrounds have borne the brunt of the fossil fuel economy, of pollution, and of climate change for many decades. The South Bronx is no exception: we are an epicenter of environmental injustice, reflected in a heavy concentration of polluting infrastructure, including a disproportionate number of highways and thoroughfares,” said Arif Ullah, executive director, South Bronx Unite. “This has resulted in dangerous air quality and a range of illnesses, including asthma, cognitive impairment, and heart disease. In other words, the transition to renewables is deeply connected to our health and quality of life. As such, we applaud the city council for passing ZEV4NYC, and thank the mayor for signing it into law. The transportation sector accounts for the biggest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., about 29 percent. And New York City’s municipal fleet is the largest in the country. Transitioning it to electric will allow us to make meaningful progress towards reaching the city’s renewable energy goals and creating cleaner air so communities like the South Bronx can literally breathe easier.”

“This bill clearly places New York City as the leader in electrifying city vehicles and creates a model for others to tap into the environmental and economic benefits offered by EVs,” said Sam Wilson, senior vehicles analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists. “Large municipalities, particularly those in states lagging behind on clean vehicle policies, now have clear path towards vehicle electrification and healthier air with this bipartisan legislation.”

“Signing the ZEV for NYC Act signals a critically necessary and important commitment from Mayor Adams and the New York City Council,” said Mary Barber, state director, New York and New Jersey. “Setting deadlines to phase out sales of conventional vehicles across the city government leading to total fleet transition to zero-emission vehicles — including passenger vehicles and all manner of trucks — shows a dedication to tackling emissions from the city’s most polluting sector. We look forward to supporting local groups and the mayor to successfully implement this momentous law.”

“The ZEV for NYC Act will reduce transportation emissions, New York City’s second largest source, lessen respiratory disease, and strengthen New York City’s reputation as a sustainability business center,” said Wayne Arden, vice chair, Sierra Club NYC Group.  When combined with the Climate Mobilization Act, which addresses building emissions, New York City is now an international leader in tackling climate change. On behalf of Sierra Club members in New York, we are thrilled that Mayor Adams and the New York City Council have joined in a bipartisan effort to pass this legislation — making possible urgently needed progress.”


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