The de Blasio administration announced the deployment of 50 solar-powered charging stations across the five boroughs that will power New York City’s growing fleet of electric government vehicles. Known as solar carports, each station will charge vehicles using sunlight. These new carports, combined with 37 existing solar carports across the five boroughs, will give New York City the largest network of solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the country.
“New York City is proud to be leading the fight against climate change by investing in solar energy,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. “With these new solar charging stations, we are taking a step further toward making our city fleet fully dependent on renewable energy.”
“As Washington attempts to roll back vehicle emissions standards, New York City is deploying electric vehicles and powering them using nothing but sunlight,” said Lisette Camilo, commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), in a statement. “By building the largest network of solar charging stations, we are showing what cities can do to take the lead.”
Each carport can recharge up to three electric vehicles daily. In addition, the city currently operates the largest EV fleet charging network in the country, with 529 sites across the five boroughs. The city aims to add at least 100 additional chargers in the next two years. Two of those carports are slated to be installed on the campus of New York City schools to help power electric vehicles used for student driver education. The city is investing $3.3 million in these charging stations, which will be fully installed by spring 2019.
New York City has the largest fleet of electric vehicles of any municipal government in the country, an initiative that’s part of de Blasio’s NYC Clean Fleet plan. The plan, announced in December 2015, calls for the city to have 2,000 on-road electric vehicles by 2025. To date, the city has more than 1,700 electric vehicles in use across 28 of its agencies.
The full network of solar chargers will annually power fleet vehicles over 650,000 miles of emissions-free driving. These new solar carports will also enable zero emissions at the vehicle tailpipe and in the production of the energy. Each carport will offset half its cost through gasoline savings over its expected lifespan. In addition, these units offer critical emergency resiliency, serving as backup and mobile solar power generators and storage units in case of power loss or a storm emergency.
“Solar powered electric vehicle carports offer a vision of a zero-emissions transport future, zero emissions at the vehicle tailpipe and in the production of the energy,” said Keith Kerman, DCAS deputy commissioner and NYC chief fleet officer, in a statement. “NYC Fleet can produce its own clean solar power, keeping our electric fleet on the road free of fossil fuels and without taxing the electric grid.”