By C. Zawadi Morris
In a move towards a greener New York City, Mayor Bloomberg announced Tuesday the addition of 70 new electric vehicles to its transportation services fleet.

City agencies that will receive the new vehicles include the Department of Corrections, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the De partment of Sanitation, the New York City Fire Department and the New York City Police Department, among others.

The City already has the largest municipal clean-air fleet in the country. With the addition of the 70 new vehicles, it will bring the total to 430 electric vehicles — a part of the PlaNYC agenda to create a greener, more sustainable environment for residents, Bloomberg said at the Department of Sanitation’s Central Repair Shop in Maspeth, Queens.

“We will continue to lead by example, but we also must provide New Yorkers with tools to make environmentally friendly choices in their own lives,” said Bloomberg. “When provided with the facts, people become far more likely to choose an electric vehicle. Our job is to ensure the public has the facts, ensure they can make their own decisions and ensure that if they want to drive an electric vehicle, we are providing the infrastructure needed.”

A survey by McKinsey & Company for the city showed 21 percent of consumers were more likely to purchase an electric vehicle after being educated about the facts on the vehicles.

Currently, transportation contributes 20 percent of the city’s overall carbon emissions — the biggest single source after buildings. However, an electric vehicle emits approximately one-fourth of the carbon emissions than the average car. In addition, electricity prices rise slower and are more stable than oil prices, so consumers with electric vehicles are less impacted by power price fluctuations.

The city's new batch of electric vehicles includes 50 new “extended range” hybrid Chevrolet Volts, 10 fully electric Ford Transit Connect cargo vans and 10 new fully electric Navi-star “E-star” utility trucks. The Chevrolet Volt is the first electric car being used by the NYPD. The NYPD already uses electric scooters and electric powered golf carts on boardwalks, in parks and some transit hubs.

Also, Nissan will provide six 100 percent electric Nissan LEAFs to taxi owners for testing in 2012 as well as the charging stations to support their use. The city’s Taxi of Tomorrow—the Nissan NV200—can be manufactured as an all-electric taxi, if the pilot program proves successful.

The City’s electric vehicle information site, Drive Electric NYC, gives residents facts about electric vehicles, including how they drive, how they are unique and in what ways they are similar to conventional vehicles. The site also includes a map of public charging stations across the city, a cost calculator link and lists the environmental benefits of electric cars.

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