Mayor Eric Adams announced on Wednesday, January 5th, that New York City would be adding 925 electric vehicles to its municipal fleet. The vehicles to be purchased include vans, pick-up, and sanitation trucks. Hybrid plug-in street sweepers would also be included as additional vehicles. The purchase of the vehicles will see the installation of 315 electric charging stations.
During the announcement, Mayor Adams said electric vehicles are the future. He described the purchase and future deployment of electric vehicles as a victory in two aspects as it would lower New York’s carbon output and reduce fuel and maintenance costs for fossil fuel-using vehicles. The purchase of the vehicles is meant to progress the city’s promise to reduce carbon emissions by 2040.
Financial backing for the project is coming from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which will provide a $10 million grant. According to Gothamist, $6 million of the funding will go towards the purchase of electric vehicles for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. The department is responsible for the management of the city’s municipal fleet. The rest of the funding will be used by the Department of Sanitation (DSNY). DSNY will receive 25 plug-in hybrid street sweepers. The department will also receive seven Mack garbage trucks. These electric garbage trucks will be the first owned by DSNY. While the electric vehicles will be a welcome purchase in regard to reducing carbon emissions, they have their limitations. According to Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch, the garbage trucks are not necessarily the best snow plowers because they only last for four hours per charge while they are needed for 12 hours.
“Replacing 925 gas guzzlers — garbage trucks and street sweepers among them — with clean-energy vehicles is a huge step toward reducing air pollution and meeting the city’s goal of transitioning to an all-electric fleet. And with 315 new EV chargers coming, the message to residents is clear: Replace your fossil fuel-burning car with one that is battery-powered, and the city will have the resources for you to power up,” said Julie Tighe, executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters.
New York City set the target to transform its 30,000 fueled fleet to all-electric vehicles by 2040 under former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration. Presently, less than 15% of the municipal fleet has made the change. According to city officials, 4,000 city vehicles are electric as of September 2022.