|Mayor Bloomberg announces the addition of 70 new electric vehicles. Chevy Volt and Navistar E-star are visible in the background. Click to enlarge.|
New York City is adding 70 electric vehicles to its fleet: 50 new Chevrolet Volts, 10 fully electric Ford Transit Connect cargo vans, and 10 new fully electric Navistar E-star utility trucks. NYC already has the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet in the country, now totaling 430 electric vehicles with the infusion of the 70 new electric vehicles.
The City agencies utilizing the 70 new electric vehicles are: the Department of Citywide Administrative Services; the Department of Correction; the Department of Environmental Protection; Department of Parks and Recreation; Department of Sanitation; Department of Transportation; New York City Fire Department; the New York City Police Department; and Taxi and Limousine Commission. The FDNY and NYPD initially will use the vehicles for non-emergency duties, including use by NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agents.
The Chevrolet Volt is the first electric car being used by the NYPD. The NYPD already uses electric scooters and electric powered golf carts on boardwalks, in parks and some transit hubs.
The Administration is also working towards the use of electric vehicles in the City’s fleet of more than 13,000 yellow taxis. As part of its selection as the supplier of New York City’s Taxi of Tomorrow, Nissan is working with the City and taxi owners on a pilot program to study the use of zero-emission electric vehicles as taxis. (Earlier post.) Nissan will provide six 100 percent electric Nissan LEAFs to taxi owners for testing in 2012 as well as the charging stations to support their use. The City’s Taxi of Tomorrow—the Nissan NV200—can be manufactured as an all electric taxi, if the pilot program proves successful.
The City is also launching new efforts to provide New Yorkers with the facts about electric vehicles. A survey by McKinsey & Company for the City found a lack of consumer information and lack of educational resources about electric vehicles. Only 30% of New Yorkers are knowledgeable about the specific benefits and limitations of electric vehicles. Providing basic information on electric vehicles increases interest in the vehicles—the study showed 21% of consumers were more likely to purchase an electric vehicle after being educated about the facts on the vehicles.
The City’s electric vehicle information site, Drive Electric NYC, provides users with the primary facts about electric cars: how they drive, how they are unique and how they are similar to and differ from conventional vehicles. The site also includes a map of public charging stations in the city, a cost calculator link to help potential owners understand the total cost of an electric vehicle versus a conventional vehicle—including fuel costs—and describes how electric cars work in everyday use. The site also documents the environmental benefits of electric cars.
The site is part of the recently updated PlaNYC (earlier post), which includes an initiative to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles. The City is also collaborating with the cities of Boston and Philadelphia as part of the Northeast Regional Electric Vehicle Partnership to improve conditions for electric vehicles and alleviate barriers to early electric vehicle adoption through low-cost, high-impact actions.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the announcement at the Department of Sanitation’s Central Repair Shop in Maspeth, Queens where he was joined by Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty; representatives from the New York Power Authority; the Environmental Defense Fund; the Sierra Club; Azure Dynamics, a partner of Ford Motor Company; General Motors; Navistar International Corporation; and Coulomb Technologies Inc., the manufacturers of the public electric vehicle charging stations available in the city.
The City’s electric vehicle program is made possible due to a partnership with the New York State Power Authority and funding from the US Department of Transportation—each helped fund a portion of the cost differential between the purchase of an electric vehicle and gas-powered vehicle—and the US Department of Energy, which provided a grant to the charger manufacturer Coulomb to provide the public charging stations installed throughout the city.