New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order on March 28 that will reduce the size of the city’s on-road vehicle fleet, deepening its commitment to address climate change and reduce emissions 80 percent by 2050.
The city said it will eliminate at least 1,000 vehicles from its fleet by June 2021—about the same number of cars parked on the street around about eight Manhattan blocks. Additionally, the order will reduce the number of take-home vehicles by at least 500 vehicles, curtail the reliance of SUVs in the city fleet and promote greater vehicle efficiency by using advanced data collection.
With the order, the city estimates 10 million fewer miles will be driven by city vehicles each year, resulting in reduced congestion, cutting the city’s annual fuel consumption by 500,000 gallons and decreasing annual emissions by 6,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of burning nearly 7 million pounds of coal. The city’s fleet currently has 25,690 on-road vehicles.
“Sustainability isn’t about maintaining the status quo, it’s about changing the way we live and get around,” said de Blasio in a statement. “Eliminating unnecessary vehicles from our streets and replacing gas-guzzling SUVs with electric cars will bring us one step closer to our carbon emission reduction goals, which means a cleaner New York City for all.”
This executive order is based on a data-driven approach, according to the city. By removing 1,000 vehicles under the order, the city will review every agency’s fleet to ensure the vehicles are being used efficiently and will reduce the fleet size as needed. The city will increase its goal for daily vehicle usage rate from 67 percent to 80 percent. This means at least 80 percent of the city’s fleet should be used daily, except for certain emergency, specialized or seasonal vehicles.
“The climate crisis is real and it’s urgent, and that is why we are scaling back and greening up the city’s vehicle fleet,” said Lisette Camilo, commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), in a statement. “To support Mayor de Blasio’s vision for a cleaner and safer New York, we are using new technology to right-size the city’s fleet and to more efficiently use the cars we do need.”
DCAS also will review every take-home car currently in the fleet and use data vehicle data to identify usage patterns. Take-home vehicles that are underused will be reassigned to the agency’s fleet pool, which can be used my multiple employees.
The executive order will also direct DCAS to replace at least 250 SUVs with electric plug-in sedans. In addition to environmental benefits, electric sedans have significantly lower maintenance costs.
This latest move that builds upon the mayor’s commitment to transform the city’s vehicle fleet into a greener and carbon-neutral fleet:
- The city now operates more than 1,750 on-road electric vehicles, the largest network for any municipal government.
- The city operates a network of more than 568 electric vehicle charging stations, including the largest network of solar-powered vehicle chargers, with 65 in use.
- Last year the city began using renewable diesel, a 99 percent petroleum-free diesel alternative made of organic material.
- Light-duty fleet vehicles purchased during the most recent fiscal year achieved an average fuel economy equivalent of 100 miles per gallon.
- The city has ordered its first 190 hybrid pursuit rated police vehicles.