NYC launches major push for electric vehicles

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a major push to increase the number of electric vehicles on the streets of New York City.

The program will invest $75 million in new electric vehicles, the largest single investment in battery powered vehicles in the city's history.

The investments include:
--300 electric vehicles to replace fossil fuel-powered models
--275 fast vehicle chargers
--20 portable vehicle chargers
--11 new solar charging carports
--3 electric buses to replace diesel models
--78 electric ambulances
--The city will retrofit 125 existing diesel-powered trucks to be electric-powered

De Blasio said the new investments will help the greenest municipal vehicle fleet in the country become even greener.

"Climate change is an existential threat facing our city, our nation, and our world," he said. "You can count on New York City to lead the way when it comes to finding sustainable climate solutions, fighting back against global warming, and building a greener future for the next generation."

Fast chargers can refresh vehicle batteries up to seven times faster than regular chargers.

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The long term goal is to have the city's vehicle fleet fully electric, something de Blasio hoped would happen sometime in the next decade.

The announcement is the latest in a series of moves the de Blasio administration is taking to address climate change by reducing the city's dependence on fossil fuels.

On Tuesday, the mayor announced a deal to connect New York City with hydroelectric power, wind power and solar electricity from Canada and upstate New York.

Back in June, the city installed its first curbside electric vehicle charging stations in the Bronx, part of a pilot program that hopes to make it easier for people to use electric vehicles citywide.

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