If you have nothing better to do, you may wonder what gets New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Queens? The occasional NY Mets game he attends? A flight out of JFK to one of his secret vacation spots? The answer would be yes to both of these, but he also came to Queens recently to advertise the city’s 70 newly purchased Chevy Volts.
Standing in the Sanitation Department’s Maspeth repair depot, Bloomberg was beaming with pride as he spoke about the green machines the city has purchased. The vehicles will be used by several agencies and will be strictly for non-emergencies only, so don’t expect to come to New York and see cops pursuing suspects in their Chevy Volts.
The interesting thing about this purchase is Bloomberg’s assertion that it will save the taxpayers money. Most people know the Volt is an expensive investment, with a cost of around $40,000 per vehicle; however, Bloomberg noted that the federal government has subsidized most of the vehicles, and ten of them will be leased for $1 a year for two years.
Well, that deal is not available for us regular folks, but those who wish to purchase one can get federal tax savings up to $7,500. That still makes the car pretty dear at around $32,000. Add to that that you are limited to how far you can drive these cars under exclusive electric power, and that is why Bloomberg said that none of them will be used for more than thirty-five miles a day.
While many New Yorkers like myself want to see the city go green, we have to wonder how this will truly impact our lives. Bloomberg claims each car will save the city 4,000 gallons of gas over the years, coming to about $15,000 in savings for each one. They will not add to air or noise pollution either.
What is the ulterior motive here? Well, besides giving Chevrolet and GM and enormous advertising opportunity, the Mayor does hope that citizens will take a chance on getting an electric vehicle too. The city has even launched a green web page (Drive Electric NYC) that will give people information and resources about the cars purchased and other ways to go green.
Obviously, Bloomberg’s ultimate goal is to have all city vehicles eventually be electric, and this includes buses. He has also hinted that the single biggest source of traffic problems in NYC (yellow taxis) would eventually need to be an all electric fleet. Imagine the possibilities! Now if they could just do something about those pedicabs and horse drawn carriages.
Photo Credit: City of New York