New York City buys another 1,000 electric vehicles

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New York City announces procuring around 900 new electric vehicles to replace ICE vehicles and installing new charging stations as part of its ongoing commitment to green municipal fleets. The US government supports the city’s effort with grants of $10.1 million.

The most significant chunk of funding will go to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), which receives $6.2 mn, and the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) the remainder. The $10.1 million grant feeds into the city’s first major investment in all-electric pick-up trucks and vans.

Specifically, the authorities plan to procure 382 Chevrolet Bolts, 360 Ford E-Transits and 150 Ford F-150 Lightning EVs, in addition to seven all-electric rubbish trucks and 25 plug-in hybrid sweepers for DSNY.

The city operates over 6,000 pick-up trucks and vans, representing 25 per cent of the city’s total on-road fleet.

DCAS will also install 600 EV chargers over the next 18 months, 315 of which will be supported by the US government grant. These will join the network of over 1,300 charging ports available to fleet units.

However, the extra money from the federal government appears almost dwarfed, put next to NYC’s longer-term strategy to invest $420 million in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure to switch to an all-electric municipal fleet. In late 2021, the city brought the transition target forward five years from 2035 to 2030 and has since started buying electric vehicles of various makes.

The NYPD alone operates over 6,200 vehicles; the police cars form the largest single group of the city government’s approximately 30,000 vehicles. Orders included 184 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT and 250 Tesla Model 3 in January 2022 via DCAS. As of September 2022, DCAS reached its 2025 goal of transitioning 4,000 vehicles in the city fleet to electric vehicles — three years ahead of schedule. The electric fleet includes many vehicle types and categories, from said Ford and Tesla EVs to nearly 850 GM Bolts. DCAS further expects to operate over 5,000 EVs by June 2023.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams commented: “We are already ahead of schedule in transitioning city vehicles away from fossil fuels, and this new grant will allow us to take nearly 1,000 fossil-fuel vehicles off our roads, helping us reduce carbon emissions, make our air cleaner, and save on fuel costs.”

DCAS Commissioner Pinnock added, “Through this funding from the US Department of Transportation, we are poised to make a significant transition for our light- and medium-duty fleet. This is a critical next step for our agency as we lead the charge in government fleet operations.”

Also, at the state level, New York has progressed with mobility targets. In September last year, Governor Kathy Hochul willed that only zero-emission and light commercial vehicles may be sold from 2035 and introduced quotas leading towards the targets. Starting with the 2026 model year, automakers in New York State must sell an increasing number of zero-emission vehicles each year. This rate begins at 35 per cent and increases to 68 per cent by 2030 before reaching 100 per cent in 2035. 

Governor Hochul had earlier also approved a bill to continue the EV Make-Ready scheme launched by her predecessor Andrew Cuomo in 2020. The programme banks on public-private partnerships with utilities and charging equipment manufacturers expected to help install 50,000 AC and 1,500 DC charging stations in the US state by 2025 through a cost-sharing programme.