New York City will add 925 electric vehicles, including vans, pick-up and sanitation trucks, as well as hybrid plug-in street sweepers to its municipal fleet, to replace gas-guzzling vehicles.
The plan, which was announced by Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday, is intended to help fulfill the city’s promise to reduce carbon emissions by 2040.
“Electric vehicles, they are clearly the future,” said Adams, speaking at a press conference before a Brooklyn sanitation station.
The mayor described the purchase — which will replace existing fossil-fuel vehicles owned by the city— as a “win-win” for reducing the city’s carbon footprint as well as providing savings for taxpayers by lessening maintenance and fuel costs.
The investment, funded by a $10 million federal grant, will also include the installation of over 300 new electrical vehicle charging stations across the city.
Under former Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city set a lofty ambition of transitioning all of its roughly 30,000 municipal fleet to electric by 2040. That includes emergency and sanitation trucks.
So far less than 15% of municipal vehicles have made the switch. As of September, city officials reported that 4,000 vehicles were electric, a milestone that was nonetheless lauded as being three years ahead of schedule.
Under the plan, around $6 million will go toward buying electric vehicles for the city Department of Citywide Administrative Services. The agency, which provides staffing and other resources, is charged with managing the city’s municipal fleet.
The remainder of the grant will go toward the city’s sanitation department, which plans to buy seven electric garbage trucks as well as plug-in hybrid street sweepers.
In the case of garbage trucks, there are limitations to electric vehicles. Last month, Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch told the City Council that the electric-powered garbage trucks cannot be used to plow snow because they have shown to last only four hours with each charge.
The trucks, which are custom-made by Mack, cost more than $525,000 each.
The mayor, however, has himself not yet made the shift to electric when it comes to the SUV that transports him across the city.
Asked about when he would make the change, Adams said he would leave that decision to the NYPD, which is in charge of his security.
Adams, who has frequently been spotted taking the subway, argued that he was “low maintenance.”
“I was on an electric car today,” he said, adding, “The 4 train.”