New York Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a decree requiring the city to electrify its entire municipal fleet by 2040. This includes not only cars, but everything from ambulances and police cruisers to refuse trucks and ferries, according to a press release issued by the mayor's office.
Electrification of the New York City Municipal Fleet will begin shortly. The first electric school buses will appear on the city streets this year, and 4,000 vehicles will be either replaced by electric models or converted to electric power by 2025, according to the mayor's office.
At the end of 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio called for replacing a large number of municipal vehicles with electric vehicles, which would potentially give New York the largest electric municipal park in the country. But then it failed.
Photo by LIANG SEN XINHUA/EYEVINE/REDUX
In early February, the city’s Mayor signed an order and intends to implement it. The order consists of several sections:
Section 1. 100% Electric Fleet by 2040. It is the goal of the City of New York to achieve an all-electric, carbon neutral fleet by the year 2040.
Section 2. Clean Fleet Design and Electrification. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and NYC Fleet will issue, implement and update a Clean Fleet Transition Plan (CFTP).
The plan will outline alternative fuel, fuel efficiency, and electrification requirements for all City fleet units by type. The plan will include a schedule for adoption of cleaner vehicles and technologies which will lead to a fully-electric, carbon-neutral fleet by 2040.
Section 3. Safe Fleet Design. The plan will be informed by study of City actual crash trends, CRASH Stat, for fleet as tracked by DCAS. All agencies will fully comply with citywide crash tracking. The SFTP will also review safety outfitting that is implemented for specific fleet segments only and / or being tested.
Section 4. Fleet of the Future Network. DCAS, working with the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Business Integrity Commission (BIC), the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), the Mayor's Office of Sustainability (MOS), and others will establish a contact list and communication network for public, private, and non-profit fleets operating in the five boroughs of the City of New York. This network will be used to establish lines of communication on issues of sustainable and safe fleet operation. DCAS will establish newsletters, events, and trainings aimed at these partner fleets and will share best practices throughout the network.
Section 5. Agency Cooperation. All agency heads are directed to cooperate fully with DCAS and
the City's Chief Fleet Officer in implementing and complying with this Executive Order.
Of the 25,104 on-road vehicles currently in its fleet, 2,134, or 8.5%, are “electric,” according to the New York Daily News (it isn’t clear whether this figure includes hybrids). The city also has 5,613 off-road vehicles like carts and light towers, and about 10% or 548 of them are electric. In 2018, the city announced plans to electrify its public bus system by 2040, and in 2019, it bought 15 New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE electric transit buses.
The mayor’s office expects to see a 50% reduction in emissions from the fleet by 2025. The effort will cost $36 million next fiscal year and the city is assessing the price tag going forward.
“To address our climate crisis, New York City needs to stop burning fossil fuels and electrify everything," said de Blasio. “That’s why we’re making our entire fleet electric by 2040 - the equivalent of taking 750,000 cars off the street."
Currently, the city is receiving excellent results from electric vehicles in its park. In March 2019, NYC Fleet announced that its clean electric vehicles provide significant savings in maintenance costs: “Right now, servicing costs with our all-electric vehicle models is dramatically less than with gas, hybrid, or hybrid plug-in models.”
“All early indicators are that we are achieving the fuel, emissions, and maintenance benefits of this exciting transition away from the internal combustion engine,” they wrote.