The city plans to add 2,000 electrified vehicles to its fleet. Pictured are Chevrolet Volts used by the Parks Department. Photo courtesy of DCAS.

The city plans to add 2,000 electrified vehicles to its fleet. Pictured are Chevrolet Volts used by the Parks Department. Photo courtesy of DCAS.

New York City has launched NYC Clean Fleet, a plan that includes replacing 2,000 sedans with battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which would make it the largest electrified vehicle fleet of any U.S. city. This is part of a larger plan to cut municipal vehicle emissions in half by 2025 and 80% by 2035.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of the plan to coincide with the United Nations Conference on Climate Change underway in Paris.

"A cleaner, greener fleet is yet another step toward our ambitious but necessary sustainability goals, including an 80% reduction in all emissions by 2050," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "By building the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet in the country — and potentially the world — New York City is continuing to lead by example."

The NYC Clean Fleet plan will replace 2,000 fossil-fuel sedans with plug-in electric vehicles. Combined with the more than 300 electrified vehicles currently on the road, this would mean electrified vehicles will make up half of the city’s non-emergency sedans. This transition would reduce gasoline consumption by approximately 2.5 million gallons a year.

Purchasing the new electrified vehicles can be done without new operating expenditures, as the additional cost will be offset by fuel savings, reduced maintenance savings, and increased resale value, according to the city. However, NYC expects incremental capital costs over the next 10 years for upgrades to electrical systems for new charging infrastructure. The New York Times reported this would cost $50 million to $80 million.

The plan also calls for an increase in the use of alternatives to diesel fuels, including higher biodiesel blends, compressed natural gas, and renewable diesel. The city will expand the use of anti-idling, hybrid, and start-stop technologies in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles such as sanitation trucks; limit the use of SUVs, promote eco-driving, and expand car sharing; and partner with private and public fleets while leveraging city purchasing power to set an example.

The city will immediately move to implement NYC Clean Fleet.

Other large cities have announced electrified vehicle expansion plans in the past year — the City of Los Angeles committed to leasing 288 electric and plug-in vehicles, Atlanta plans to deploy 50 EVs and plug-in hybrids, and Indianapolis has already rolled out 212 of these vehicles with plans to add more.

NYC Clean Fleet is the latest in a series of climate initiatives outlined in Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan, with a long-term goal of reducing all greenhouse gas emissions across the city 80% by 2050. The transportation sector accounts for nearly one-quarter of citywide greenhouse gas emissions. City-owned and operated vehicles account for approximately 4% of citywide transportation emissions. 

The full NYC Clean Fleet plan is available here.