New York Power Authority logo and link to home page


NYPA Donates Ten Electric Vehicles to New York City Housing Authority

Brian Warner

October 24, 2005


BRONX – Ten emission-free, GEM neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) will soon make the rounds at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments thanks to the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Clean Transportation program.  

“The Power Authority has a long and productive partnership with the New York City Housing Authority for lower-cost electricity and other supportive efforts such as installation of energy-efficient refrigerators to reduce utility bills and help improve air quality,” said Eugene W. Zeltmann, NYPA President and Chief of Executive Officer.  “The use of the electric vehicles at the housing developments is consistent with the direction set by Governor Pataki for use of alternative-fueled vehicles by state government to reduce emissions and dependence on foreign oil.”

“This is a perfect continuation of NYCHA’s partnership with the Power Authority in finding creative ways to reduce energy consumption,” said Douglas Apple, NYCHA’s General Manager. “Whether by installing energy-efficient refrigerators in our apartments or enhancing our fleet with electric vehicles, we are meeting today’s energy challenges together,” Apple said.

The passenger vehicles are built by Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), a DaimlerChrysler subsidiary.

NYCHA will disperse the vehicles to 10 housing developments in all five boroughs.  Facility staff will use them to move work crews around development sites, transport light equipment and help improve response time on emergency maintenance calls.

Each vehicle is powered by a 72-volt GE motor and a battery pack comprised of six deep-cycle 12-volt batteries. The GEMs, which come in two-passenger or four-passenger models, can be easily charged on site using a standard 110-volt outlet.  On a full charge the vehicles go up to 30 miles, with a top speed of 25 miles per hour.  The emission-free vehicles are especially suitable for urban settings where air quality concerns are heightened.

New York State law permits NEVs on public roads where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less.   

In 2004, the Housing Authority and NYPA completed a nine-year effort to install nearly 185,000 new energy-efficient refrigerators in public housing units citywide. The project reduced energy consumption by 100,260 megawatt-hours.  This hallmark effort achieved national acclaim from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Energy.

In 2003,  NYPA teamed with DaimlerChrysler on a one-time only donation program which distributed 330 GEM NEVs  statewide to state universities and colleges, public parks, and to state and local governments eager to eliminate standard combustion-engine vehicles from their fleets.

These 10 electric vehicles will result in substantial emission reductions over similar combustion  engine vehicles, amounting to reductions of  8,590 pounds (lbs) of carbon oxide, 12,220 lbs of carbon dioxide 185 lbs of nitrogen oxide, 38 lbs of hydrocarbons, 35 lbs of sulfur dioxide and 19 lbs of particulate matter.

NYPA is a leading national proponent of electric-drive vehicles, having placed more than 770 in service for public entities and in its own fleet. It is the nation’s largest supplier of lower cost electricity for public transportation, meeting the power needs of  New York City subways and Metro North Rail Road commuter trains.