New York City is ahead of schedule electrifying its vehicles and powergrid. In advance of Earth Day, Mayor de Blasio announced that the city’s solar capacity is growing, and its electric vehicle fleet size is far greater than expected. Both of these initiatives are strategies for New York to meet its climate goals and reduce air pollution.
Last year, the city formed a goal to add 2,000 electric vehicles to its municipal fleet by 2025, but on April 20th, Mayor de Blasio announced the city already has 650 electric cars and 75 electric ambulances. De Blasio also announced a new goal: that by 2025, 20% of all vehicles sold for use in New York City will be electric. This initiative includes a $10 million investment to support electric charging infrastructure around the city.
Developing a municipal fleet of electric vehicles like parks vehicles, police cars, ambulances, etc, goes hand in hand with developing charging stations around the city. Once charging stations are commonplace around the city, driving electric vehicles becomes a viable option for residents. The city is placing new emphasis on developing electric charging stations, and has partnered with ConEdison to make this a reality. Over the next few years, ConEd plans to invest $25 million to test electric charging projects.
The city’s solar energy capacity has more than quadrupled during de Blasio’s Administration. Currently, New York has 105 Megawatts, making it one of the largest solar cities in the country. The city’s municipal capacity is set to nearly triple in size by 2019, given a recent power purchase agreement to install solar panels at 88 new sites, 66 of which are schools. The first rounds of Solarize NYC, a community program designed to increase access to solar energy through community purchasing campaigns, are beginning this week in Harlem and Downtown Brooklyn. New York City’s solar goal is to have 1 gigawatt of installed solar capacity by 2030.