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City Boosts Its Electric Car Fleet

By Jill Colvin | July 12, 2011 5:31pm
Mayor Michael Bloomberg demonstrated how to charge an electric car July 12, 2011 in Queens.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg demonstrated how to charge an electric car July 12, 2011 in Queens.
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The Mayor's Office/Spencer T Tucker

QUEENS — The city has super-charged its electric fleet, adding 70 new vehicles to a municipal collection of clean cars that's the largest in the nation, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday.

The city already has more than 360 electric-powered cars, vans and trucks in its nearly 27,000-vehicle fleet.

The new purchase, which mark the “largest-ever addition to the city’s fleet,” are part of a larger effort to boost the profile of electric cars, whose emissions are 75 percent cleaner than their gas-powered counterparts, Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Edna Wells Handy said.

The vehicles will be used by city agencies including the Sanitation Department, NYPD and the FDNY.

In addition to the new fleet, the city launched a new website Tuesday touting the benefits of the cars targeted at people thinking about purchases.

The city is also hosting a free screening of the documentary "Revenge of the Electric Car' Tuesday evening in Central Park, offering residents the chance to peruse hybrid and fully electric cars, including the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Transit Connect, Navistar eStar, Nissan LEAF and original electric Toyota RAV4.

The city's latest shipment includes 50 new hybrid Volts, 10 fully-electric Transit Connect cargo vans and two new fully electric Navistar eStar utility trucks. Eight more of the trucks, which the city is leasing for $1 a year each, are set to arrive next week.

The mayor said that while the electric vehicles are more expensive, the extra costs are being covered by grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the New York Power Authority.

The city is also installing 70 new charging units to power the cars at city facilities, which is also being paid for with federal funds.

"From the city's point of view, it is competitive now", said the mayor, adding that each Volt is expected to save more than 4,000 of gallons of gasoline over its lifetime — saving roughly $15,000 at current prices.

The screening will take place at Central Park's Naumburg Bandshell, Tuesday, July 12. The car display starts at 7:30 p.m. and the screening of "Revenge of the Electric Car" starts at 8:30 p.m.