This isn't the first time the city of New York has purchased electric vehicles, as it follows a purchase of 70 plug-in vehicles in 2011 that resulted in the NYPD-badged Chevrolet Volts you might have seen if you've visited in the last few years. The city's previous mayor, Michael Bloomberg, signed a bill into law saying that 20 percent of all off-street parking spaces become "EV ready." De Blasio's proposal, however, is much greater in scope with the intent of cutting emissions from the city's non-emergency vehicles by nearly half.
The plan is also said to include investment of between $50 million and $80 million to increase support for charging these new electric vehicles. That alone may reveal shortcomings of EVs in the city, however, because of the frequency cars are used by city employees for various tasks. Plug-in hybrids and range extenders like the Volt might find more acceptance than full EVs in this case.
New York is hardly the first major city to make a large EV push, but it is a large city that puts plenty of demands on vehicles. And the boost in infrastructure is always an important step into increasing plug-in appeal in urban areas.