Electric Vehicles

N.Y. County Approves Policy to Reach 5% Green Vehicles

August 26, 2015

Ulster County's green fleet policy will have the county buying additional green vehicles, including electric vehicles. Photo courtesy of Ford
Ulster County's green fleet policy will have the county buying additional green vehicles, including electric vehicles. Photo courtesy of Ford

The Ulster County, N.Y., legislature has approved a green fleet policy that aims to reduce fleet greenhouse gas emissions and improve vehicle fuel efficiency. The policy sets goals for the fleet to reach 5% green vehicles by 2020, and purchase 20% passenger vehicles beyond that year.

The county, which approved the policy Aug. 18, defines green vehicles as any that employ technology that reduces fuel consumption or emissions. These include electric and hybrid vehicles.

Greening steps include reducing fleet size, optimizing vehicle use, and incorporating vehicle efficiency into bid specs. The county also plans to install electric vehicle charging stations at county-owned facilities, and the new policy also prohibits county employees from idling for more than five minutes.

The fleet manager will begin by conducting a detailed assessment of vehicles in each department. Staff also will develop minimum efficiency and emissions standards for procurement.

In 2012, the county’s baseline year for greenhouse gas inventory, the fleet consumed 201,000 gallons of gasoline and 306,000 gallons of diesel fuel and was responsible for approximately 35% of the county’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The county hopes its fleet greening will lead to long-term monetary savings.

The measure goes to Ulster County Executive Michael Hein, who must hold a public hearing on the proposed local law before deciding whether to let it pass into law or to veto it, the Daily Freeman reported.

To view the policy approved by the legislature, click here.

Update: Ulster County Executive Michael Hein signed the policy into law on Sept. 17.

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