By Forum Staff
Mayor Eric Adams and Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock on Wednesday outlined a plan that will make New York City the first city on the East Coast to transition all heavy-duty vehicles in the city’s fleet from fossil to renewable fuel. The City’s fleet currently includes more than 12,600 on- and off-road trucks and specialized equipment that operate on diesel fuel — but by the end of Fiscal Year 2024, they will all operate on renewable diesel.
Renewable diesel is proven to reduce carbon emissions and will replace up to 16 million gallons of fossil fuel used every year to power the city’s heavy-duty fleet, which includes garbage trucks and ambulances. After the full rollout of 16 million gallons of renewable diesel, the city will have cut 128 billion grams of carbon dioxide pollution each year. The transition began this past September, with 2.5 million gallons of renewable diesel already used across heavy-duty vehicles.
“New York City continues to lead the way for the rest of the country by making our vehicles cleaner, greener, and safer,” said Adams. “From our vehicles to our buildings and our food, we are making sustainability a critical component of all the work we do. This is the ‘Get Sustainability Done’ administration, and we will continue to serve as a model for cities across the globe in combating climate change while still delivering vital government services to New Yorkers every day.”
Renewable diesel biofuel fully replaces fossil diesel — protecting the environment and delivering the same quality fuel. As the city works to fully electrify its entire vehicle fleet — in line with the goals of Intro. 279-A, which Adams signed into law in October 2023 — renewable diesel represents an important and immediately impactful intermediate step until viable electric models become fully available for city trucks and specialized equipment. Currently, 20,450 city vehicles — nearly three-quarters of the entire fleet — use a type of cleaner fuel alternative, such as electric, solar, hybrid, or biofuels. The city is also on track to meet its goal of eliminating half of the fleet’s 2015 greenhouse gas emission levels by 2025, as outlined in the NYC Clean Fleet Plan.
In addition to implementing cleaner fuel alternatives, the Adams administration is moving swiftly to electrify the city’s fleet. DCAS expects to operate over 5,000 electric vehicles by the end of 2023, with the number of electric vehicles in the DCAS-managed fleet increasing by 49 percent in Fiscal Year 2023. DCAS also already operates the largest electric vehicle charging network in New York state, with over 1,800 charging ports available to fleet vehicles, including fast chargers and solar carports. And DCAS will deploy another 500 charging ports in the next 18 months. The Adams administration has also supported the efforts of private partners to complement the city’s work by investing in and expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the city.
“The only way to avert a future of adverse weather, overwhelmed food systems, rising sea levels, and mass extinction is to take bold steps to reduce our carbon footprint. Today’s initiative by the mayor is the largest implementation of renewable diesel on the East Coast,” Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Woodhaven) said.