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Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced a new shared services partnership to procure electric vehicles (EV) in an effort to tackle climate change, reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, save taxpayer dollars and develop a shared services framework that will be a model for other local governments across the State. The two Counties will be seeking to partner with additional counties and local governments across New York State that would like to participate in this green initiative and combined purchasing power to save taxpayer dollars.

Latimer said: “As we saw with Hurricane Ida, climate change is real, it is here and we must act now to do something about it. This policy will put Westchester and Suffolk Counties on the forefront of this fight, leading by example so other local governments around the State and Country can follow.”

Bellone said: “It is our job on the local level to ensure we are leading the way and doing everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint and harmful emissions from transportation to create a cleaner, healthier environment for our residents. This joint procurement will lay the groundwork towards a clean, zero-emissions fleet by 2030. Not only are we building back, but we are building back better with cleaner, greener energy.”

In May, similar to President Joe Biden’s recent Executive Order, Latimer and Bellone signed dual Executive Orders that directed their respective County departments to develop plans to convert their vehicle fleets to electric by 2030. Departments were directed to submit plans to the County Executive and requisite departments to achieve clean and zero-emissions fleets by 2030 or sooner.

Currently, Westchester County’s fleet includes 17 all electric cars and 68 plug in hybrids. Additionally just a few weeks ago, the County has added six all electric Bee-Line Buses on the fleet.  The buses, which are all part of the clean fleet initiative, are two 40-foot buses and four 35-foot buses.  In addition to meeting our sustainability goals by reducing emissions, these new electric buses will save the County money by providing the system with significant fuel savings.

The first of the six is a 35-foot bus with 32 seats and each bus is expected to save approximately 5,000 gallons of fuel per year compared to a traditional diesel bus, while preventing greenhouse gases from polluting the environment. The Bee-Line currently has 325 buses in its fleet, 177 of which are hybrid diesel-electric. In 2018 the County added 78 hybrid diesel-electric 60-foot articulated buses to its fleet.  In addition, the County is in the process of procuring 106 forty-foot hybrid diesel-electric buses which will be delivered in 2022.  These buses will replace diesel buses.