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Climate Week: Mayor de Blasio Announces NYC Fleet Now Operates More Than 500 Electric Vehicles

September 21, 2016

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced an update to NYC Clean Fleet, a comprehensive plan to create the largest electric vehicle fleet of any U.S. city. Originally announced on December 1, 2015, the City has since grown the electric fleet to more than 500 vehicles. In addition, all orders in Fiscal Year 2017 of nonemergency sedans will be electric vehicles, which will grow the fleet to nearly 1,000 by the end of 2017. NYC Clean Fleet is part of the Administration’s goal to cut municipal vehicle emissions in half by 2025 – and 80 percent by 2035 – the largest such commitment of any U.S. city, making NYC Clean Fleet the most comprehensive and ambitious blueprint for municipal fleet sustainability in the nation.

NYC Clean Fleet is one aspect of an ambitious climate initiative outlined in Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan, a series of initiatives to create a more equitable, more resilient and more sustainable city.

“A little less than a year ago, we made a commitment to create a greener, cleaner fleet with the end goal of creating a more sustainable city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “It is time that we take ownership and responsibility for our climate. By furthering our work to create the greenest and cleanest electric fleet in the country and world, we are leading the way for others to follow in our footsteps and leaving a lasting impression on our climate.”

“The City’s sustainability goals require a deeply decarbonized transportation network. To do this, the City is leading by example,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director for Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer. “A cleaner City fleet is yet another step toward our ambitious and necessary goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. By expanding the City’s fleet of electric vehicles, New York City is continuing to lead by example as we deliver on our OneNYC goals of delivering a more sustainable, more equitable, and more resilient city.”

“NYC operates the largest municipal fleet in the United States with over 29,000 vehicles of all types,” said DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo. “NYC is leading the way in researching and implementing practical, effective, and cleaner alternatives to traditional cars and trucks.”

“City agencies with large fleets including NYPD, FDNY, DOC, DSNY, Parks, DOT, and DEP are working more closely together than ever to green and transform our fleet including expanded use of electric vehicles, hybrids, biofuels, and anti-idling technology,” said NYC Chief Fleet Officer Keith Kerman.

"By increasing the number of electric cars in our fleet, using renewable energy in our firehouses, and installing charging stations citywide to reduce idling time for ambulances, the Department is exploring all options to reduce our carbon footprint," said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. "FDNY is very proud of its role in keeping our city safe and sustainable."

The transportation sector accounts for more than one-quarter of citywide greenhouse gas emissions. City-owned and operated vehicles account for approximately three percent of citywide transportation emissions, creating the polluting equivalent of an 80 megawatt coal power plant. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) is exploring innovative channels to ensure its sizable EV fleet can charge up, including a solicitation for standalone solar carports that can charge fleet EVs with renewable power without relying on the electric grid. DCAS has also bid a contract for EV sedans with over 200+ miles range and will be issuing a contract for solar powered portable light towers.

NYC Clean Fleet also set forth a vision of displacing petroleum diesel with alternative fuels for use in medium- and heavy-duty fleets. City agencies like Sanitation, DEP, DOT, and Parks already use 5 percent blends of biodiesel (B5) year-round and twenty percent (B20) during the warm weather months. Next year, these agencies will pilot use of fifty percent biodiesel (B50) as well as renewable diesel. In addition, emergency service agencies including NYPD, FDNY and DOC are also using blends of biodiesel from B5 to B20. NYPD successfully transitioned this year from B5 to B10. The City is also actively investigating the supply chain, fire safety, and permitting steps that would be required to run portions of the heavy-duty fleet on renewable diesel, which can completely replace petroleum diesel in existing diesel engines from the same feedstocks that produce biodiesel.

The full NYC Clean Fleet plan is available here.

“The threats of climate change have never been more alarming and New York City alone produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 97 countries,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio for this effort to decrease emissions from the thousands of municipal vehicles by continuing to switch to cleaner alternatives, drastically reducing our harmful footprint. The maltreatment of our planet has dire consequences, and it is past time we take responsibility to ensure it is sustainable for future generations.”

“On issues from lifting wages, to protecting individuals’ civil rights and dignity, to working against global climate change, part of government’s job is to lead by example,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Deploying a cleaner, increasingly electric-powered vehicle fleet is more than a smart investment, it’s a bold statement that shows governments, large organizations, and even individuals can make a difference by investing in these world-saving technologies."

"I'm proud to be part of a leaner, greener City fleet that is making strides toward a more sustainable future. Using fuel-efficient and electric vehicles, as well as promoting mass transit and people-powered modes of transportation, are key to my administration's vision for an environmentally-conscious Brooklyn that works for our residents today and many tomorrows to come," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

State Senator Brad Hoylman, Ranking Member of the Committee on Senate Environmental Conservation, said, “In 2014, transportation represented more than a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, destroying our environment and polluting our air. Clearly, policies to replace municipal vehicles with clean fleets will play an increasingly important part in our ongoing fight against climate change. I thank Mayor de Blasio for this forward-looking investment in the future of our City, which brings us one step closer to the ambitious goal of cutting municipal vehicle emissions 80 percent by 2035.”

"I applaud Mayor de Blasio on the expansion of the New York City Clean Feet Program. As the Ranking Democratic Member on the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, I understand how crucial it is that we quickly move toward the use of clean, renewable energy sources. I look forward to supporting State and City initiatives like Clean Fleet that aim to reduce our carbon footprint through sustainable energy options," said State Senator Kevin Parker.

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, said, "This milestone brings us closer to our goal of reducing our citywide carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050, and reducing our municipal vehicle emissions 80 percent by 2035. Especially prescient during Climate Week, the Clean Fleet policy shows that we are taking responsibility in combating climate change and making our city more sustainable. The over 500 electric vehicles that are now part of the city's car fleet illustrate our position as a global role model for every city to follow. I commend Mayor de Blasio for his leadership and commitment to making our city greener."

"Electric vehicles are now the standard for New York City's fleet," said Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operation. "Thank you to Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Lisette Camillo for her partnership and responsiveness to requests for a more aggressive adoption of a fully electric fleet. Thank you Mayor de Blasio for keeping New York City at the forefront in the fight against climate change."

"Vehicle by vehicle, New York City is moving towards a greener future," said Council Member Stephen Levin. "Our children will breathe more easily, we'll save millions of gallons of gasoline, and we will continue to set an example for the world. Where New York City leads, others will soon follow. I applaud the Mayor's commitment to our City's sustainable future, and hope each and every one of us does our part to ensure a bright future for the next generation."

"Transport is a major source of emissions for cities around the world, and tackling emissions from municipal fleets is one of the most important steps city governments can take,” said Gunjan Parik, Head of the Transportation Initiative for C40 Cities. “A program like NYC Clean Fleet leads the way in showing the transformations that can be delivered by switching fleets to electric. Strong Mayoral leadership and a committed administration have helped deliver and exceed targets over the past year. Other C40 cities are taking note, and we look forward to more cities standing alongside New York to reduce emissions from their municipal fleets."

“It’s a breath of fresh air to hear the news that all non-emergency sedans purchased by the city in FY 17 will be electric vehicles. We applaud the de Blasio Administration for taking another step to reduce global warming emissions and ground-level air pollution in neighborhoods across the city,” said Eric A. Goldstein, New York City Environment Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“The Sierra Club commends Mayor de Blasio on his commitment to create the largest city electric vehicle fleet in the nation – a model for cities and towns worldwide,” said Gina Coplon-Newfield, Sierra Club’s Electric Vehicles Initiative Director. “With the progress New York City has already made toward electrifying its vehicle fleet and with today’s important commitment to increase the number of electric vehicles in its fleet even further, New York City is tackling the climate crisis while improving air quality for its residents.”

"Conversion of vehicle fleets to electric is an essential part of any serious program to reduce greenhouse gases. It is excellent to see the City of New York take such aggressive steps in this direction, both in itself and for the example it sets for other large fleet owners," said Professor Michael B. Gerrard of Columbia Law School, Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

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