Path to Zero
Path to Zero
5.24 - Earth Day Special-Decarbonizing the Nation’s Largest Municipal Fleet with Keith Kerman, NYC Chief Fleet Officer

Tucker welcomes a special guest to celebrate Earth Day 2024 and also makes a significant announcement about the release of his upcoming book. This episode features a return visit from a true innovator in fleet decarbonization. Keith Kerman oversees New York City’s more than 28,000 vehicles and is responsible for creating what is widely regarded as the nation’s greenest fleet.

Keith joined Path to Zero for our Climate Week panel in New York last year. We had so many comments and questions from our listeners that we invited him back to get an update on New York’s ambitious goals to decarbonize its fleet with electrification and renewable fuels.

At the end of the show, Tucker announces the release date and launch of the author landing page for his first book, also called Path to Zero. In the book, Tucker jumps to the year 2050 and looks back on how we achieved a net zero carbon future, with the help of Path to Zero podcast guests just like Keith Kerman, who are making a real difference today.

The official launch of the book is set for Climate Week in New York City this coming September. To learn more, you can find Tucker’s author landing page at

Highlights from Tucker’s Earth Day interview with Keith Kerman:

  • New York City is making significant strides in transitioning its fleet to electric vehicles (The NYC fleet will celebrate the 5,000 EV milestone for Earth Day).
  • Renewable fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel are being utilized, particularly for heavy duty vehicles, while the potential of hydrogen is also being explored.
  • Extended range electric vehicles are becoming more accessible, but range requirements for certain municipal operations need consideration.
  • Electrification is crucial for reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and biofuels provide a viable alternative for medium and heavy duty vehicles. For example, Kerman has yet to see an electric option for snow plows.
  • NYC Fleet has seen a return on investment with lighter electric vehicles, but heavy-duty trucks still present challenges. While the upfront cost for EVs is 20-25% higher, NYC’s fleet has seen a 60% reduction in maintenance costs with EVs.
  • Fire risks exist with electric vehicles, necessitating awareness and preparedness.
  • National standards are needed for electric bikes to ensure proper manufacturing, inspection, storage and ownership practices.

New York City become first East Coast municipal fleet to transition to renewable diesel.
(Photo courtesy: Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), New York City)


Electric vans support a wide variety of city agencies and operations and are a key part of our transition to an electric fleet.
(Photo courtesy: Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), New York City)


NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Fleet Management

NYC Fleet Sustainability Website

CBS News – Mayor Eric Adams signs bill requiring all New York City vehicles to be zero-emissions by 2038

Biodiesel Magazine – NYC Chief Fleet Officer Awarded for Sustainability Efforts