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NY Cities Commit to Zero-Emission Vehicles

Cities that commit to electric vehicles send a message to manufacturers that the market is there for the products they're developing. (stanvpetersen/Pixabay)
Cities that commit to electric vehicles send a message to manufacturers that the market is there for the products they're developing. (stanvpetersen/Pixabay)
September 19, 2018

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Yonkers and Rochester are among the 26 international cities, states, regions and businesses that have committed to 100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2030.

A vehicle-buying collaboration was announced at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco last week. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions in New York.

Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, said replacing city-owned cars, trucks and buses with electric vehicles sends a powerful message.

"It's always gratifying," he said, "to see local leaders commit to buying electric vehicles to demonstrate, with the power of the government's purse, the viability of the technology and the market opportunities for car makers to be selling into."

Mayors across the country have joined a Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative that's committed to buying $10 billion worth of electric vehicles. By working together, cities and towns can increase their collective buying power and reduce costs.

Helen Clarkson, chief executive of the Climate Group, said creating the infrastructure for electric vehicles sends a message to consumers as well.

"If you start seeing this charging infrastructure going up, becoming more normal in our streets," she said, "to see these charging points sends a really visual signal to people about the prevalence of zero-emission vehicles."

She said nearly three out of four Americans want their states to help them make the change to hybrid or electric cars.

While mayors have taken the lead on cleaning up carbon emissions from cars and trucks, Iwanowicz said, the state needs to step up to make the effort pay off.

"New York really needs to move rapidly to electric vehicles," he said. "We're just not going to hit our midcentury climate goals unless we completely electrify our transportation sector."

More information is online at driveevdleets.org.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY