street sweeper new york

New York City buys 900 EVs to replace government fleets

Image credit: Dreamstime

New York will replace nearly 925 fossil fuel-powered fleet vehicles with electric vehicles (EV) and install 315 new EV chargers across the city, Mayor Eric Adams has announced.

The US Transportation Department has granted $10.1m (£8.4m) for the change, which is part of efforts to improve air quality across the city.

New York City’s air quality has improved in recent decades, as the City and State have worked to lower emissions from regional and local sources. But despite this progress, air pollution remains a leading environmental health threat to citizens.

“When New Yorkers see cars, trucks and vans with the ‘NYC’ logo on the side, they can rest assured that those vehicles are contributing to a greener city,” Adams said. “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.”

Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi said: “Thanks to this investment from the Biden Administration, the city is poised to make huge progress on making our fleet more climate friendly.

“Our agencies rely on these vehicles to complete vital operations within the five boroughs, and this funding helps us decarbonise some of the hardest vehicles: heavy-duty trucks. From cleaning the streets to getting our air cleaner, the trucks move us in the right direction.”

The new EVs are “laying the groundwork” for eventually transitioning all public service vehicles over to fully electric.

The $10.1m will help procure 382 Chevrolet Bolts, 360 Ford E-Transit vans and 150 Ford F-150 E-Lightning pick-up trucks. Additionally, 25 plug-in hybrid street sweepers have been earmarked as part of plans to upgrade the city’s specialised equipment fleet.

In total, the city operates over 6,000 pick-up trucks and vans, which represent 25 per cent of its total on-road fleet. This first order of electric pick-up trucks and vans brings the agency closer to meeting the goal of an all-electric light- and medium-duty fleet by 2035.

The seven all-electric refuse trucks will be the first owned by New York’s Sanitation Department following a successful pilot assessment of an all-electric refuse unit.

The city is also busy expanding its EV charging network, with over 1,300 charging ports available to fleet units. Another 600 charging ports will be deployed over the next 18 months.

“The climate crisis is on our doorsteps, and discrete projects such as this are critical towards our ultimate goal of preventing the worst impacts from climate change,” said New York State Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz.

“Municipal vehicle fleets are a great way to expand electric vehicle usage and leverage the magnitude of our city to motivate the electric vehicle industry and drive prices down for consumers. I look forward to continued progress on our city and state climate goals.”

In December 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing the federal government to end purchases of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Biden's order also directed 100 per cent of light-duty federal acquisitions by 2027 be EV or plug-in hybrid EV purchases.

Last August, UK-based firm Connected Kerb, an electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure specialist, announced that it had been selected by the New York City Department of Transportation and Newlab to deliver on-street EV charging as part of a flagship charging pilot project, ‘The DOT Studio’, in New York City.

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