New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) reportedly granted Volvo Group North America (VGNA) a $10 million fund under the Clean Neighborhoods category to electrify the transportation of Hunts Point in the South Bronx, according to CleanTechnica.
VGNA VP of System Solutions and Partnerships Keith Brandis said:
“We are incredibly proud and honored to be chosen to lead such an important project. Working closely with our community and supplier partners, we will use this award to effect real change in Hunts Point that will have a measurable impact on businesses and residents alike.”
The $10 million grant was under the New York Clean Transportation Prize program. The said program aims to advance electrification, reduce air pollution, and increase mobility options in neglected regions of the state.
Furthermore, the lofty objective of an 85% cut in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 outlined in New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act is supported by this initiative.
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA said:
“NYSERDA is excited to support Volvo Group North America’s project that demonstrates how innovation in clean transportation can help transform Hunt’s Point by reducing the harmful emissions that impact this community so deeply. This highly replicable model will improve the way food is delivered and distributed in our communities, provide opportunities for freight electric vehicle charging and business owners through an electric truck cooperative, and unleash cutting-edge battery technology for food transport.”
Problem and solution
Hunts Point is home to the biggest wholesale food center in the nation, nine garbage transfer sites, numerous sizable recycling facilities, a wastewater treatment facility, and a neighborhood of approximately 13,000 residents. Notably, these are located in the poorest urban Congressional District in the nation.
Therefore, the electrification of neighborhood truck fleets is the simplest solution to reduce the region’s freight transportation emissions.
Volvo Group’s proposal listed the following barriers that local fleet managers must take into account before electrifying their fleets:
· access to inexpensive charging infrastructure
· the high cost of purchasing electric truck models
· the scarcity of battery-electric refrigeration options available in a food distribution hub
The VGNA winning proposal includes the following approaches to EV truck adoption:
· Building a Multi-User Electric Vehicle Charging Hub
It will be a public charging station with a priority on freight. It will be situated on a 3.2-acre brownfield property inside the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center.
Meanwhile, the Partner of VGNA Shell Recharge Solutions will construct and run it.
A zero-tailpipe emission freight ecosystem will be developed in Hunts Point, which will also solve the high price of fast-charging deployment.
Establishment of the Electric Truckers Cooperative (ETC)
The VGNA will serve as the lead organization in the 6,000-member Drivers Cooperative’s formation of a new employee, a zero-emissions logistics firm. A Mack LR Electric trash vehicle and four Class 7 Volvo VNR Electric vehicles will be provided by VGNA. Notably, the Recharge Hub will keep the cooperative’s trucks in and powered.
· Creation of a Refrigerated Battery-Electric Fleet:
A food rescue group called City Harvest will obtain four more Class 7 VNR Electric cars from VGNA. The project will replicate emissions reduction in a fleet of refrigerator-equipped vehicles apart from alleviating food insecurity in the Bronx. The electric transport refrigeration units (eTRUs) on all four trucks will allow them to charge at the freight center.
VP Keith Brandis stated:
“The Volvo Group’s goal is to drive prosperity through transport and infrastructure solutions. This project is in perfect alignment with that objective and our goal to have at least 35% fully electric vehicles sales by 2030.”
The VGNA worked with the following organizations to develop this great project:
· The Greater Hunts Point EDC
· THE POINT CDC
· City Harvest
· The Drivers Cooperative
· Collective Diaspora
· Shell Recharge Solutions
· Empire Clean Cities
· Public Works Partners
· Barretto Bay Strategies
VGNA announced that the project is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2023, with the first truck deliveries occurring in Q4.