Mayor de Blasio Announces New Tech Competition To Accelerate Local Climate Action From Harlem To Hollis

December 18, 2017

Today Mayor Bill de Blasio, Miguel Gamiño, Jr., New York City Chief Technology Officer, Mark Chambers, Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation announced a new NYCx moonshot challenge.

The Challenge calls on the tech industry to develop and deliver solutions to scale electric vehicle charging hubs and accelerate the use of electric vehicles citywide.

Though the cost of electric cars and trucks has become more affordable, ensuring the infrastructure is in place to help New York City drivers make the switch is essential to facilitate electric vehicle (EV) use. EVs release no tailpipe emissions, require less maintenance and are ideal for city driving, making them one essential component to delivering a greener transportation system, and achieving the City’s ambitious climate goals.

The city’s transportation sector currently accounts for nearly 30 percent of local greenhouse gas emissions, 90 percent of which comes from private vehicle use. The NYCx climate moonshot challenge invites global tech stakeholders to creatively develop solutions to help drivers more easily make the shift away from fossil fuels to cleaner vehicles. Participants will be asked to identify and test a mix of breakthrough EV charging technologies, as well as develop a plan to incentivize EV usage.

“We are continuing to be aggressive in addressing the threat of climate change,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “NYCx is mobilizing tech to accelerate our actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and calling on the disruptors and tech experts to join.”

Winning solutions will complement previously announced plans to develop new, fast charging stations across the city with a $10 million investment to develop hubs with up to 20 chargers per site. Up to four finalists will be awarded $20,000 each to develop and present proposals to staff from the NYC Department of Transportation and Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. The winner will be eligible to have elements of their submission included in the City’s EV charging roadmap. These efforts can, in coordination with the City’s Clean Fleet program, support the Administration’s target of having 20 percent of motor vehicle registrations in New York City be electric by 2025.

“This new moonshot challenge is a call to action for technology to deliver breakthroughs that positively impact New York City and unite around a global issue,” said Miguel Gamiño, Jr., Chief Technology Officer.“The superpower of the public sector is collaboration and partnership to solve common global problems.”

“NYCx and this electric vehicle challenge allows us to engage the best minds from New York City and around the world to creatively and thoughtfully solve real life climate challenges right now,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.

“DOT has made a central goal of our Strategic Plan the reduction of carbon emissions by our own fleet,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “As the city embarks on an ambitious program to expand electrical vehicle charging infrastructure, we look forward to the innovative ideas arising from this challenge that will inform our own approach and maximize the usage of EV charging stations.”

“New York City and Paris enjoy an international partnership based on our shared values of cooperation, innovation, and concern for the future of our planet. Together, we are taking action to address the urgent global challenge of climate change. New York City is proud to issue this next step in our ongoing commitment to the landmark Paris Agreement,” said New York City Commissioner for International Affairs Penny Abeywardena.

“Tackling climate change will continue to require the innovation and collaboration for which New York City is well-known,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Directory of Climate Policy & Programs and Chief Resilience Officer. “This NYCx Moonshoot Challenge will support creative solutions to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles as we build a more sustainable, resilient, and just New York City.”

The NYCx Moonshot Climate Challenge launches just as the world marks the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement by nearly 195 entities. Despite federal abdication of climate leadership and withdrawal from the Paris Agreement this past spring, Mayor de Blasio pledged New York City would adhere to the agreement and accelerate the city’s already ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels. The City announced those priorities to reduce emissions from buildings, waste and transportation sectors earlier this year in the city’s 1.5°C climate action plan.

New York City is one of many cities around the world demonstrating leadership and action on the global issue of climate change. Of note, Paris which has long been a leader on transitioning drivers to electric vehicles, is leveraging the NYCx Moonshot platform and the EV challenge as an opportunity to increase access to fast charging stations in their city. As part of this partnership, the City of Paris will also engage the tech community in identifying solutions to their city’s unique transportation needs through a Paris&co Urban Lab challenge.

“Paris and New York are committed to climate action,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. “Launching a challenge in partnership with the City of New York, Paris is joining the call to global technologists to help us take action to tackle climate change and move toward clean mobility.”

NYCx competition participants can submit proposals online here.

“Building a sustainable future is a team effort,” said DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo. “DCAS looks forward to partnering with the Chief Technology Officer, DOT and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to develop new exciting ways to expand electric vehicle adoption.”

“The use of alternative fuel sources is the way of the future in Brooklyn. We must harness the full potential of electric vehicles as a clean, reliable, and sustainable method of transportation. I commend the de Blasio administration for launching the latest NYCx ‘moonshot challenge,’ which will help us develop a new generation of electric vehicle charging station hubs across our city. This initiative builds upon a report my administration released earlier this year outlining how we should be utilizing alternative fuel sources, including an expanded deployment of electric vehicle charging stations, to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I encourage tech companies across our borough to put their thinking caps on and submit a proposal to this important competition.” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“During the last ten years, the total level of Green House Gas Emissions from the transportation sector has decreased,” said Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Committee on Transportation. “I believe that increasing the number of electric cars in combination with other government other initiatives will make our city a better place to live, not only for us, but for generations to come. I’m confident that the tech industry has the tools and abilities to make this transition possible to accomplish. As the Chairman of the Transportation Committee, I considered Green House Gas Emissions reductions one of the most critical issues at the Council.”

“Facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles will be key to combatting climate change and furthering our City’s sustainability goals,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Technology. “I’m excited to hear about the new NYCx moonshot challenge, which will help our City leverage innovative and cutting-edge green technologies to accomplish this goal.”

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council’s Environmental Protection Committee, said, “This NYCx challenge to increase use of electric vehicles will help our city meet our goal of reducing emissions 80% by 2050. We have already worked legislatively to implement policies that encourage use of these vehicles. Our legislation for a pilot program that brings electric vehicle charging stations to every borough has broken barriers to increased use of these vehicles. This competition will bring even further growth. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio, Mark Chambers, and Commissioner Trottenberg for implementing this challenge.”

“NYC’s electric fleet of City vehicles is already over 1,000 and growing daily,” said NYC Chief Fleet Officer Keith Kerman. “We need EV charging options to do the same and look forward to the NYCx EV Challenge unleashing new and creative ways to charge up.”

“At Grand Central Tech, we’ve witnessed the magic that can happen when city leaders and tech innovators come together to address some of our biggest challenges. It’s been our privilege to work closely with the city, and NYCx specifically, on smart solutions that will positively impact the lives of New Yorkers. We view the Moonshot Challenges as being a visionary mechanism to not only engage New York City citizens in improving their City, but also to benefit from the collective brilliance of their ideas.” said Matthew Harrigan, Co-Founder, Grand Central Tech.

“NYCx demonstrates how government and tech can work together to address the challenges of the day and of the future. Incorporating EVs into NYC will be crucial to address one of those challenges—the very real threat of climate change. We look forward to working with the city, technologists, startups, and others to make EVs a reality across NYC.” said Julie Samuels, Executive Director, Tech:NYC.

“Electric vehicles can help city residents breathe easier and fight climate change at the same time,” said Donna DeCostanzo, Director of Northeast Energy & Sustainable Communities at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The world’s cities have the power to build a more sustainable future for our children and our grandchildren. With this challenge and commitment to accelerate the deployment of cleaner cars and trucks on our streets, New York City is continuing to lead the way.”

“The urgency of the climate crisis facing the world’s cities requires everyone from the mayor, to businesses, entrepreneurs and citizens to help transform our cities. The NYCx Moonshoot Challenge is precisely the type of initiative that is going to help deliver a sustainable, liveable and equitable New York City for generations to come. Other cities across North America and beyond will be watching this project closely,” said David Miller, North America, Regional Director, C40 Cities.

NYCx is the world’s first municipal program to transform urban spaces into hubs for tech collaboration, research, testing and development. New York City’s diverse population, economy and landscape offer a unique opportunity for technology companies to develop tools that improve the world. NYCx is a program in the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO). Learn more at

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