CB2 unanimously approves letter of support for Hunts Point EV truck charging station

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Plans to build New York state’s first electric freight charging station in the Bronx received unanimous support from Community Board 2 on April 27.
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Plans to build New York state’s first electric freight charging station in the Bronx received unanimous support from Community Board 2 last Wednesday.

CB2 approved a letter of support on April 27 for the Bronx is Breathing, a joint proposal from Volvo Truck Group, Green/Shell, the Greater Hunts Point Economic Development Corporation, The Point CDC and Empire Clean Cities to develop a freight electric vehicle charging hub in the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center.

Paul Lipson of Barretto Bay, the lead consultant on project, said this is an exciting time for New York state, the Bronx and Hunts Point.

“This would be for any truck that is visiting the commercial center,” Lipson told the Bronx Times. “Nobody wants to draw more traffic into Hunts Point. It’s one of those issues that has everybody’s best interests.”

The proposed charging station would be on 3.2 acres of city-owned remediated land at Halleck Street and Food Center Drive. There would be four charging islands, solar canopies, locally owned food and beverage concessions, electric vehicle workforce training, hands-on education for drivers and fleet managers, a potential commercial driver’s license certification program, greenspace, picnic tables and e-bike charging.

The Hunts Point peninsula in the South Bronx is home to the nation’s largest wholesale food hub, nine waste transfer facilities, 16,000 truck trips daily, several large recycling yards and a residential community of 13,000, all located in the southern tier of the poorest urban Congressional District in the United States. The peninsula is characterized by disparities — a thriving living wage employment hub that benefits the entire downstate region and an archetypal environmental justice community where 40% of residents live below the poverty line and children ages 5-14 consistently have some of the highest asthma rates in the state.

The solution laid out in this proposal seeks to leverage battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and public charging infrastructure to improve air quality and create economic opportunity for the South Bronx without disrupting the essential freight activities that power the local economy.

Additionally, there would be partnerships with City Harvest Electrify, City Harvest’s Hunts Point Fleet and with an EV Trucking Cooperative for South Bronx independent truckers where the collaboration will help 3,500 NYC-based drivers and offer driver education and electric vehicle workforce development.

This project is part of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program, which will electrify transportation, reduce air pollution and enhance clean mobility in disadvantaged communities in New York state. The competitions will each run in two phases. Awardees of the first phase were announced in January.

The three prize competitions are:

  • Clean Neighborhoods Challenge – up to three $10 million grand prizes will be awarded to innovative projects that address local air pollution reduction at scale in disadvantaged communities.
  • Electric Mobility Challenge – up to three $7 million grand prizes will be awarded to projects that demonstrate innovative safe and convenient electric mobility options that help solve disadvantaged community transportation needs.
  • Electric Truck & Bus Challenge – up to three $8 million grand prizes will be awarded to projects that demonstrate electrified solutions to the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles or their replacement through other electrified transportation modes.

An independent pool of global experts will continue to support the state with the selection of the grand prize awardees, which are expected to be announced in late summer 2022. The Phase One awardees will each receive the following award package to fine-tune their proposals and prepare for a pitch competition to be held in the summer:

  • A $100,000 planning grant.
  • Up to $50,000 in funding for community partners.
  • Up to $50,000 in-kind support from NYSERDA provided expert consultants.
  • Additional support services for project management, community engagement, and measurement and verification.

The New York Clean Transportation Prizes program is administered by NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) in partnership with the New York State Department of Public Service and the Department of Environmental Conservation, as part of an $85 million allocation through New York’s Make Ready program to accelerate the transition to a clean transportation future.

The winners will be announced in the fall.

Reach Jason Cohen at jcohen@schnepsmedia.com or (718) 260-4598. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes

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