New York's boys in blue will soon be able to creep up on evildoers with even more subtlety, thanks to some new electrified vehicles the city unveiled yesterday. As part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's environmentally-friendly PlaNYC initiative, 70 new EVs have been added to the city's fleet of public cars, in the hopes of lowering emissions and creating a "greener, greater New York City." Joining the force are ten Ford Transit Connect cargo vans, ten Navi-star E-star trucks and a full 50 Chevy Volts -- some of which will be used as NYPD squad cars. These newcomers will be shared among nine different departments, joining 360 other city plug-ins already purring their way across the five boroughs. Bloomberg is also working toward adding EVs to New York's army of 13,000 taxis -- which we're totally cool with, as long as they're not minivans. Zip past the break for a rather Homeric press release.
Show full PR text
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES ADDITION OF 70 NEW ELECTRIC VEHICLES TO CITY'S FLEET AND LAUNCHES NEW CITY EFFORTS TO INFORM THE PUBLIC ABOUT ELECTRIC VEHICLES

New City Website Provides Facts About Electric Vehicles - 21 Percent of Consumers are More Likely to Purchase an Electric Vehicle after Being Provided Basic Facts

Electric Vehicles Will Help Achieve Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emission Goals in PlaNYC

City Hosting Free Screening of "Revenge of the Electric Car" and Information Session to Answer Questions About Electric Vehicles Tonight in Central Park

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith, Director of the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability David Bragdon and Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Edna Wells Handy today announced the addition of 70 new electric vehicles to the City's fleet and launched new City efforts to provide New Yorkers with the facts about electric vehicles. Research has shown most consumers are unaware of basic facts about electric vehicles, and the likelihood of a consumer purchasing an electric vehicle rather than an internal combustion vehicle increases dramatically once they are provided with the facts about electric vehicles. The City 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 announced today. Tonight, the City will host a free electric car information session and documentary screening in Central Park, and the City's electric vehicle information website is now live on www.nyc.gov. The Mayor 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.

"This is the latest and largest-ever addition of electric vehicles to the City's fleet, which is already the largest municipal clean-air vehicle fleet in the nation," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We will continue to lead by example, but we also must provide New Yorkers with tools to make environmentally friendly choices in their own lives. When provided with the facts, people become far more likely to choose an electric vehicle. Our job is to ensure the public has the facts, ensure they can make their own decisions and ensure that if they want to drive an electric vehicle, we are providing the infrastructure needed. It's all part of our PlaNYC agenda to create a greener, greater New York City."

"This largest-ever increase in the City's electric-powered vehicle fleet is not only good for the environment, it's good for City taxpayers too," said Deputy Mayor Goldsmith. "Using electric vehicles reduces air pollution and carbon emissions while also lowering gasoline consumption – a fact that will translate into significant life-cycle savings per vehicle for the City. Today's announcement illustrates New York City's ongoing commitment to staying at the forefront of U.S. cities in our use of electric vehicles, and marks another milestone in achieving the sustainability goals set out in PlaNYC."

"While we are doing our part to make City agency fleets greener, we're also working to help New Yorkers to have more sustainable choices in their lives as well," said David Bragdon, Director of the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. "Our goal is to arm the public with information and provide the resources that will allow New Yorkers to reduce their environmental impacts and long-term energy bills."

"I'm very proud that DCAS enabled acquisition of these 70 vehicles by coordinating grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the New York Power Authority," said Commissioner Handy. "While New York City is already a leader in this area, boasting the largest clean-fuel municipal fleet in the country – emissions from these 70 electric vehicles are 75 percent cleaner than internal combustion engine vehicles. In addition to obtaining the funding for this initiative, DCAS teams shepherded the contracting, procurement and placement of the Volts, electric Transit Connects, and eStart vehicles in recipient agencies."

"The New York Power Authority is proud to partner with Mayor Bloomberg and our New York City governmental customers to advance their efforts to address environmental health concerns and lower greenhouse gas emissions through the purchase of electric vehicles for their fleets," said Richard M. Kessel, president and chief executive officer, New York Power Authority. "We are committed to helping New York City achieve its sustainability goals under its PlaNYC initiative and will continue to study the overall benefits that these electric vehicles provide to the agencies and to the overall community."

"A year ago we announced with the City of New York the installation of the first public charging station to support electric vehicles as part of the ChargePoint America Department of Energy grant program," said Colleen Quinn, Vice President of Government Relations at Coulomb. "We are pleased to see this commitment to the government fleet effort as well. Coulomb is proud to continue our relationship with the City of New York and continue to lay the groundwork for this important era of clean transportation. We applaud the City for implementing their green fleet of EVs, which will reduce our dependency on foreign oil but reduce carbon emissions as well."

The City's electric vehicle program is made possible due to a partnership with the New York State Power Authority and funding from the U.S. 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 U.S. Department of Energy, which provided a grant to the charger manufacturer Coulomb to provide the public charging stations installed throughout the city.

A survey by McKinsey & Company for the City showed a lack of consumer information and lack of educational resources on electric vehicles. Only 30 percent of New Yorkers are knowledgeable about the specific benefits and limitations of electric vehicles. Providing basic information on electric vehicles dramatically increases interest in the vehicles – the study showed 21 percent 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, available at www.nyc.gov, 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, 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.

The Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability and Nissan will host a free electric vehicle information session tonight from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM in Central Park's Naumburg Bandshell, where the public can examine electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Transit Connect, Navistar eStar, Nissan LEAF, and original electric Toyota RAV4. Experts from the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, the Sierra Club, Nissan and Con Edison will be on-hand to answer questions about electric vehicles.

The information session will be followed by a free screening of the new documentary "Revenge of the Electric Car" at 8:30 PM, also at Central Park's Naumburg Bandshell. The critically acclaimed film premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival and it tells the story of the development of a new breed of electric cars during the global economic crisis. The film is the sequel to the 2006 documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car."

The City's new batch of electric vehicles includes: 50 new "extended range" hybrid Chevrolet Volts, 10 fully electric Ford Transit Connect cargo vans, and 10 new fully electric Navi-star "E-star" utility trucks.

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 already 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. 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.