On the morning of an early January day with an unseasonably high temperature of 63 degrees, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Wednesday the city will be replacing roughly 925 gas guzzling vehicles in its fleet with electric vehicles (EV) backed by a $10.1 million federal grant.
The administration will also be using the grant money to install 315 new EV charging stations across the five boroughs, the mayor announced.
While announcing the new allocations in southern Brooklyn Wednesday morning, Mayor Adams acknowledged the dire need for the city to convert its municipal fleet from fossil fuel to electric vehicles amid the growing threat of climate change.
“I’m sure that we’re all just nodding at how different the weather is, and it’s a moment of enjoyment, but it’s also a moment of concern,” the mayor said, reflecting on the unusually warm January day. “Winters are supposed to be winters. Summers are supposed to be summers, falls are supposed to be falls. But it’s clear that our environment is changing and our contribution to the destruction of our environment is real.”
The mayor was accompanied by city Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Dawn Pinnock, Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and Julie Tighe, executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters.
“The investment will allow us to get 1,000 fossil fuel vehicles off our roads,” Adams said. “That’s a real win and a real W for us. And it’s the first-ever purchase of all electric pickup trucks and vans. It is really reinforcing our vehicle fleet to make sure that we are successful.”
The types of electric vehicles the city will purchase with the grant money include 382 Chevrolet Bolts, 360 Ford E-Transit vans and 150 Ford F-150 E-Lightning pick-up trucks. A portion of those rides will go to the NYPD, Pinnock said, which has already replaced some of its patrol cars with EVs.
Plus, money for the purchase of 25 plug-in street sweepers will be earmarked for the city’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY).
The mayor also emphasized that the addition of the new EVs won’t grow the overall size of the city’s fleet.
Adams said DCAS is already well ahead of schedule with transitioning the city’s fleet to all electric vehicles by 2035 under the “Clean Fleet Plan” unveiled last year under former Mayor Bill de Blasio. As of this past September, he said, DCAS had converted 4,000 of the fleet’s vehicles to electric, reaching that benchmark three years ahead of schedule.
Pinnock said the adding of over 300 new charging stations, to what she characterized as the city’s already expansive EV charging network, is necessary as the Big Apple continues to transition to using EVs over gas-powered vehicles.
“We are expanding our charging network to include more than 315 new electric chargers,” Pinnock said. “Currently, we operate the largest electric charging network in New York State with more than 1,360 charging ports and boasting 120 fast chargers. We also have 106 freestanding solar carports, the largest operating network in the nation.”
The expansion of the city’s EV charging network, Tighe said, will help more everyday New Yorkers be able to make the switch from using fossil fuel-powered vehicles to electric ones.
“But we can’t only transition our fleets, we have to make it easier for New Yorkers to electrify their rides,” she said. “With new EV chargers coming, the message for residents is clear: replace your fossil fuel powered vehicle with one that’s battery powered and the city is going to make sure you have the resources to power up.”