Electric Trucks Donated to Bronx NonProfits by NY AG James

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks about the positive effects the new electric box trucks will have on the health of residents living the in the Hunts Point community. Photo credit: Robert Press.

By Robert Press

Wednesday morning at the front entrance to the Hunt’s Point Market, New York Attorney General Letitia James unveiled the first-of-its-kind fleet of all-electric, zero-emission, delivery trucks in New York City in advance of Earth Day. James showed off new electric box trucks that her office donated to six Bronx non-profit organizations to support their operations for two years. The project is funded by a $9.5 million settlement the Attorney General’s Office reached with American Electric Power, the nation’s largest power company, over the company’s violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

“Some 15,000 trucks travel through this neighborhood in Hunt’s Point which leads to severe health problems, and, in some cases, death from complications caused by those health problems,” Attorney General James said.

Traditional diesel delivery trucks are one of the greatest contributors to air pollution in New York City. These trucks are also responsible for over 70 percent of the emissions of deadly fine soot pollution by traffic in the city.

“Every day, my office fights to protect the thousands of New Yorkers who are sickened or die prematurely because of unhealthy air,” said Attorney General James.

“For many years, communities like the South Bronx have been unfairly exposed to negative environmental impacts, and moreover treated negatively by policies and leaders who completely ignored the ramifications and effects of poor air quality on generations of Bronx residents,” said Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo.

Assemblyman Marcos Crespo speaking about what Bronx residents have to endure because of the emissions from all the truck traffic in the Hunts Point area. Photo credit: Robert Press.

In a statement Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said, “So many of our Bronx residents suffer from health issues directly related to air pollution and seeing pilot programs like this one gives me hope for the future. I thank Attorney General Letitia James for her leadership on this issue.”

The Hope Program: Sustainable South Bronx/Intervine/NYC Cool Roofs. Credit: Robert Press

The six non-profit organizations participating in this project were chosen through a competitive application process. Big Reuse, GrowNYC, Habitat for Humanity New York City, New York Botanical Garden, Sustainable South Bronx (Intervine, NYC Cool Roofs) and the Wildlife Conservation Society are all receiving funding from the Attorney General to lease one or two all-electric Mitsubishi Fuso “eCanter” medium-duty delivery trucks and charging infrastructure to support their operations for two years. Funding for nine trucks in total were dispensed by Attorney General James. Bronx organizations and upper Manhattan groups received funding for the electric-powered trucks.

During this period, the Attorney General’s Office will study the performance of the electric trucks deployed in the project, and document their utility and performance in New York City. The Attorney General’s Office will then prepare a report on the study’s findings on the trucks’ environmental, efficiency, and economic benefits, as well as addressing validating the business case for the adoption of these vehicles by private fleet operators.

NY AG James and others stand in front of some of the new electric box trucks. Courtesy: Robert Press

“We are engaging community members to mitigate the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities, improving public health outcomes while assisting job seekers in establishing the foundations for long and fulfilling careers. This electric truck will increase our impact while reducing the carbon footprint of our operations and we thank Attorney General James for funding this important program,” said Jennifer Mitchell, Executive Director, Sustainable South Bronx and The HOPE Program.

The New York Botanical Garden will use their two electric trucks to transport plants and equipment on its 250-acre campus and for deliveries throughout the metropolitan area.

The nine Fuso brand electric box trucks were manufactured in Portugal. Fuso has plans for an American truck plant to build electric trucks in the future. Many trucks going to and leaving the Hunt’s Point Market however have refrigerators on them to keep perishable food from spoiling.

“With today’s focus on developing work trucks that emit zero-tailpipe emissions, FUSO is very appreciative of partnerships like the Urban Clean Air Truck Demonstration from the NYS Office of the Attorney General,” said Justin Palmer, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. in a statement. “These types of programs help to facilitate real-world deployment of industry-leading technologies like the world’s first series produced FUSO eCanter all-electric truck.”

The electric-vehicle project is being led for Attorney General James by Policy Advisor Peter C. Washburn of the Environmental Protection Bureau, in consultation with Environmental Protection Deputy Bureau Chief Monica Wagner and Bureau Chief Lemuel Srolovic. The Environmental Protection Bureau is part of the office’s Division of Social Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux.

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