Picture of Keith Kerman, DCAS Deputy Commissioner and NYC Chief Fleet Officer

NYC to use 99% renewable diesel to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Published:  09 May, 2018

New York City is to use renewable diesel to power large vehicles in its fleet. Renewable diesel is made almost exclusively of plants and animal fats, with just 1% of its contents derived from petroleum.

The city will use 900,000 US gallons (750,000 gallons or 3.4 million litres) of the fuel to drive more than 1,000 vehicles an estimated 11.3 million miles.

The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) says renewable diesel will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60% in comparison with traditional petroleum-based diesel.

The fuel will be used in large vehicles, such as refuse collection vehicles, making New York City will be one of the first fleets to use renewable diesel in north-east USA. Currently, San Francisco uses renewable diesel for its entire municipal fleet and the fuel is predominantly used in California.

‘Mayor de Blasio set an historic goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, and using plants instead of petroleum to fuel our vehicles is an example of how we’re delivering on this commitment,’ said Lisette Camilo, commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

‘New York City government has the cleanest and greenest vehicle fleet in the country and we are proud to lead the way.’

The use of renewable diesel builds upon the City’s success using alternative fuels, including biodiesel. Biodiesel blends between 5% and 20% organic fuel with regular petroleum diesel. Almost every NYC truck, including those used by fire and sanitation departments, runs on biodiesel. The City also uses solar and wind energy to power government buildings and vehicles.

This initiative is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's historic commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in New York City by at least 80% by 2050 (80 x 50).

‘Fossil fuels are a destructive and increasingly outdated energy source,’ said Mark Chambers, director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.

‘Incorporating biofuels into our City’s fleet sets the example for the market and furthers our transition to clean energy.’

‘NYC blends biodiesel in all fleet fuel and heating oil for municipal operations and has over 12 years of practical experience with biofuels,’ said Keith Kerman, DCAS Deputy Commissioner and NYC Chief Fleet Officer.

‘Renewable diesel is an exciting next step which holds the prospect of completely replacing regular diesel with no impact to operations.’

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