Volvo Trucks North America is deploying eight Volvo VNR Electric trucks with two Bronx-based community groups as part of a $10 million award through the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program.
The Bronx is Breathing: Reimagining a Cleaner Hunts Point plan was one of three award winners in the program’s Clean Neighborhoods Challenge, with the goal of spurring local economic development, creating new job opportunities, and reducing air pollution in underserved communities.
The New York Clean Transportation Prizes program supports the state’s goal of an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. As the state transitions to a more sustainable transportation future, it is committed to directing a minimum of 35% of its clean energy investments to underserved communities, including the South Bronx.
“Volvo Trucks recognizes that the higher upfront costs of acquiring battery-electric trucks and installing charging infrastructure can be a barrier to adoption for some organizations, particularly smaller fleets and independent-owner operators,” says Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Through the Bronx is Breathing: Reimagining a Cleaner Hunts Point project, our team will create a replicable, scalable, and sustainable strategy for developing freight-focused public charging hubs and new battery-electric fleet deployment models in underserved communities across the U.S, helping to reduce emissions in frontline communities while also creating new job opportunities.”
The goal of the project is to launch a supportive ecosystem for zero-tailpipe emission freight in the state’s busiest trucking destination, the Hunts Point peninsula in the South Bronx. As home to a large wholesale food hub, nine waste transfer facilities, several large recycling yards and a wastewater treatment plant, the Hunts Point peninsula sees 15,000 truck trips each workday.
To support battery-electric truck adoption, the Bronx is Breathing: Reimagining a Cleaner Hunts Point project includes development of a public, multi-user freight charging hub at a former 3.2-acre brownfield site in the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, which will support the Volvo VNR Electric trucks deployed through the project. It includes deployment of four Class 7 Volvo VNR Electric trucks with electric transport refrigeration units (eTRU) to City Harvest, a local food rescue organization, which will provide true zero-tailpipe emissions deliveries in a refrigerated fleet while addressing food insecurity in the Bronx. In addition, the project will deploy four Class 7 Volvo VNR Electric trucks to the Electric Truckers Cooperative, a worker-owned cooperative for zero-tailpipe emission freight, which will be utilized in a “vehicle-as-a-service” model to overcome historic barriers to clean technology adoption by undercapitalized South Bronx fleets and independent owner-operators.
The Bronx is Breathing: Reimagining a Cleaner Hunts Point project kicks off in January 2023, with the first Volvo VNR Electric truck deliveries expected by Q4 2023.
The New York Clean Transportation Prizes program – administered by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority in partnership with the New York State Department of Public Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation – is funded by investor-owned utilities through New York State’s $701 million Electric Vehicle (EV) Make Ready program to boost access to charging stations, EV infrastructure, and other clean transportation options, and support equitable access and benefits for lower-socioeconomic and disadvantaged communities.