A new shared services partnership between two New York counties — Westchester and Suffolk — will procure electric vehicles (EVs) to help tackle climate change and save taxpayers dollars.
During a press conference on Sept. 13, Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced the partnership that they said will serve as a model for other local governments across the state.
“As we saw with Hurricane Ida, climate change is real, it is here, and we must act now to do something about it,” Latimer said. “This policy will put Westchester and Suffolk Counties on the forefront of this fight, leading by example so other local governments around the state and country can follow.”
The two counties announced in May plans to convert their vehicle fleets to electric by 2030. Their respective county departments were directed to submit plans to achieve clean and zero-emissions fleets by that time or sooner.
Currently, Westchester County’s fleet includes 17 all-electric cars and 68 plug-in hybrids.
Bellone said during the conference that Suffolk County could support 40 EVs in the first phase of the partnership's vehicle deployment, which is slated to begin next year. To ensure fleet electrification by 2030, Bellone said Suffolk County has identified seven areas to focus on eliminating barriers to adoption, including:
- Phased development of EVs
- Updating fleet policies and procedures
- Right-sizing the county’s fleet
- Right-sizing the county’s facilities to meet charging and infrastructure needs
- Partnering with utility companies
- Leveraging incentives to promote affordable adoption
- Shared services and procurement.