Monday, January 11, 2010

Brooklyn Collects Second Highest Number of Trees at MulchFest

This past weekend was the 14th annual MulchFest, a citywide event held by the Parks Department where New Yorkers can bring their Christmas trees to locations throughout the five boroughs to be chipped into mulch. This year was the most successful: 23,615 trees were collected from around the city – a 38 percent increase from last year. New Yorkers from Manhattan brought out the most trees of all the boroughs at 10,533, followed closely by Brooklyn’s 7,477. For more information, click here

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Bloomberg Releases PlaNYC Study of Future of Electric Vehicles in NYC

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the results of a study of what the city government and other sectors can do to foster the use of electric vehicles and what factors would lead New Yorkers to drive them.

Developed in partnership with McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, the study found ways to facilitate adoption of this technology in the short-term. Transportation emissions currently account for 22 percent of New York City’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

The study found that there is a potentially large group of New Yorkers in all five boroughs who are willing to change their behavior to accommodate electric vehicles and become “early adopters.” Market research projects that by 2015, up to 16 percent of all new vehicles purchased by New Yorkers could be electric.

The study found that early adopters are willing to change their habits to adapt to an electric vehicle, including switching from an on-street parking space to a parking garage that has a charging station (see New York's first — in Brooklyn — here). The research also found that consumers’ attitudes, rather than their driving or parking behaviors, are strong indications of their willingness to adopt electric vehicles.

Early adopters also understand that electric vehicles will cost more than a comparable gasoline-powered vehicle — and they appear willing to pay that premium for the benefits that electric vehicles will offer them. This suggests that in the short-term tax incentives may not be necessary to attract additional demand.

Manufacturers have announced more than a dozen highway-capable electric vehicle models for introduction between 2010 and 2012, in limited global production. Because the demand of early adopters is projected to outstrip the available supply of electric vehicles to the New York market for the next five years, the study suggests targeting early adopters and delaying a focus on the “average driver” for several years.

Ways to help early adopters enter the electric vehicle market include providing clear information on the benefits and challenges of using an electric vehicle and developing a convenient and easy-to-understand process to install charging equipment.

The study also found that the projected level of adoption of electric vehicles will not unduly tax the electrical grid as long as most chargers are configured to allow charging to take place during off-peak hours.

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