The Council of the City of New York
Office of Council Member Costa Constantinides
(718) 274-4500

For Immediate Release
March 22, 2016
Contact: Shachar Sharon

Constantinides Introduces Bill to Encourage Use of Electric Vehicles

New York City Hall – City Council Members Costa Constantinides and Ydanis Rodriguez today announced the introduction of INT. 1124 to create a pilot program for electric vehicle charging stations on street parking. The pilot program will encourage the use of electric cars, and help reduce carbon emissions citywide.

The four-year pilot program would consist of charging stations at up to seven on-street locations in each five boroughs. DOT would post the location of the charging stations online and report to the Council on the program’s cost, rate of utilization, and recommendations for expansion.

Constantinides, Chair of the Council Environmental Protection Committee, said, “This pilot program will help encourage the use of electric vehicles throughout our city. The lack of adequate public charging stations acts as a disincentive to further adoption. If drivers need a garage with a charging port to keep their vehicles operational, they might feel deterred from using electric cars. The program will provide information for consumers and policymakers about electric vehicles that will increase transparency and encourage sustainable habits. As we move closer toward our goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2050, these types of programs will give us the information we need to continue to combat climate change. I look forward to working with Council Member Rodriguez and my City Council colleagues to move this commonsense bill forward.”

“As New York City gets smarter in thinking about how we can reduce our carbon footprint, I am proud to join an environmental leader like Council Member Constantinides achieve these goals,” said NYC Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “When fuel-burning cars are caught in gridlock traffic or drive around the block countless times in search of parking, they needlessly harm our air quality and emit dangerous greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Highlighting the many choices drivers have, both in alternately powered vehicles and in the many, more efficient public transportation options, is a key part of this joint initiative. From this pilot program to our plans for mitigating car usage on Earth Day this year, we aim for a longer term strategy to do our part in limiting our impact on climate change.”

According to a Mayor’s Office of Sustainability citywide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, the city emitted over 11 million tons of carbon dioxide from transportation sources. There are over 2 million vehicles in the city, the operation of which accounts for almost 25% of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

There are approximately 2,600 registered electric vehicles in New York State, mostly in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties. This number is small in comparison to West Coast states such as Washington, where there are over 12,000 electric vehicles registered. There is no listing of public charging stations operated by the city. Most of the existing charging stations are in residences or private parking garages.

The Council Members were joined by the New York League of Conservation Voters and Natural Resources Defense Council.

“While the City has made tremendous strides to green its own fleet, private electric vehicle registration in New York City remains low. Council Member Constantinides bill will help expand electric vehicle charging beyond parking garages and spur consumer confidence. Purchasing an electric vehicle in NYC can be a win for the environment and the pocket book without sacrificing convenience,” said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

“One smart way to reduce New York City’s global warming emissions and meet Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious sustainability goals is to make the use of electric vehicles more convenient for city residents. So we appreciate Councilmember Constantinides’ leadership in introducing legislation that would jumpstart more widespread use of electric vehicles here by establishing a sensible pilot program for charging stations in all five boroughs,” said Eric A. Goldstein, NYC Environment Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The de Blasio administration and the Council have already been working to reduce carbon emissions citywide.

In December 2015, Mayor de Blasio announced NYC Clean Fleet, a plan to create the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet in the country that will serve as a model for the private sector. The plan includes cutting the emissions of our city vehicles in half by 2025. The city will replace 2,000 fuel-burning cars with electric vehicles, expand hybrid technology in city-owned trucks, increase use of more sustainable alternatives to traditional diesel fuel, and work to bring even more innovative technologies to our vehicle fleet such as fuel cell.

Constantinides has made sustainability a top priority. In 2014, the City Council passed his bill, now Local Law 66 of 2014, to reduce our carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Constantinides is working to ensure the city meets this goal through his legislation to encourage the use of geothermal energy, Local Law 6 of 2016, and solar energy, now Local Law 24 of 2016. The geothermal bill marked the first time in city history that the long-term impact of carbon emissions will be considered as part of a city cost-efficiency analysis. Earlier this year, Constantinides has also introduced bills that encourage the use of biofuels and that would study the environmental and health impacts of our policies on low-income communities.

Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on six additional committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.
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