South Bronx non-profits go electric

The volume of diesel trucks that go in and out of Hunts Point causes high concentrations of high particulate matter that has a serious effect on public health, asthma rates, and other cardiovascular conditions.

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On April 17, 2019, the New York Attorney General Letitia James introduced six new all-electric delivery trucks to nonprofit organizations in the Hunts Point food distribution market in the Bronx, New York. The trucks are Mitsubishi Fuso “e-Canter” all-electric, heavy-duty delivery trucks that will help execute deliveries with zero-emissions, leased to the organizations by Milea Truck Sales and Leasing – an alternative fuel leader in the region.

The six nonprofits awarded the vehicles are the HOPE Program, Big Reuse, The New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo, Grow NYC, and Habitat for Humanity. The project is funded by a $9.5 million settlement with American Electric Power, the nation’s largest power company, over the company’s violations of the federal Clean Air Act in 2007. The project is being led by Policy Advisor Peter C. Washburn in consultation with the Environmental Protection Deputy Bureau Chief, Monica Wagner, and Bureau Chief Lemeul Srolovic.[1]

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The Hunts Point area in the South Bronx is a critical hub for food delivery, freight, and the distribution of goods through New York City. However, the area also suffers from some of the worst air quality in New York City, affecting thousands of residents who live in the residential core of the peninsula. The volume of diesel trucks that go in and out of Hunts Point causes high concentrations of high particulate matter that has a serious effect on public health, asthma rates, and other cardiovascular conditions.

These impacts are most heavily felt in low-income communities of color, causing a serious environmental justice issue. Furthermore, trucks running on diesel contribute to New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to lowering emissions, these nonprofits will also benefit from the lower associated costs of driving electric, such as lower maintenance and fueling. These Mitsubishi Fuso “e-Canter” trucks also come with the necessary infrastructure for the six organizations to charge their vehicles. Each truck has a Gross Vehicle Weight of 15,995 lbs. and 60 to 80 mile range on a single charge. Overall, the introduction of cleaner, non-polluting vehicles in key areas such as Hunts Point is important progress for social and environmental health.

Currently, there are a number of funding incentives and opportunities for the electrification or “greening” of fleets vehicles, from light-duty to medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Programs such as the NYT-VIP Program and Hunts Point Clean Trucks Program facilitate the transition to cleaner vehicles in key areas. Soon, funding pools from the Volkswagen Settlement will be available, allowing for an increased transition to clean transportation. Contact your local Clean Cities Coalition for more information on how to apply for these funding opportunities in your area.


[1] https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/attorney-general-james-unveils-first-its-kind-all-electric-truck-program-new-york-city

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