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Volvo Group Awarded $10 Million To Electrify Transportation In South Bronx

Volvo Group North America (VGNA) today announced that it received a $10 million award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to introduce clean transportation solutions to Hunts Point in the South Bronx.

The award is a part of the New York Clean Transportation Prize program, which promotes initiatives to improve electrification, lower air pollution, and expand mobility options in underserved areas of the state.

The program, which is run by NYSERDA, supports New York State’s climate leadership and community protection act’s ambitious target of an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, which is the nation’s highest.

Volvo Group North America

VGNA got the award in the category for Clean Neighborhoods and will be the project leader for a multi-faceted strategy to provide businesses in Hunts Point in the South Bronx with easily accessible and reasonably priced clean mobility options.

“We are incredibly proud and honored to be chosen to lead such an important project,” said Keith Brandis, VGNA vice president of system solutions and partnerships. “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.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris 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.”

The largest wholesale food hub in the country, 9 waste transfer facilities, multiple large recycling yards, a wastewater treatment facility, and a residential neighborhood of nearly 13,000 people can all be found in Hunts Point, which is part of the country’s poorest urban Congressional District.

The most straightforward way to address the region’s freight transportation emissions comprehensively is through the electrification of local truck fleets.

In its proposal, Volvo Group outlined three obstacles that regional fleet managers must consider before electrifying their fleets: Access to affordable charging infrastructure, high acquisition costs of current electric truck models, and scarcity of battery-electric refrigeration solutions available in a food distribution hub.

The winning solution from VGNA contains the following strategies to get beyond these barriers to EV truck adoption:

Building a Multi-User Electric Vehicle Charging Hub: The Recharge Station will be a new, public, freight-focused charging hub on a 3.2-acre brownfield site in the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, to be built and operated by VGNA partner Shell Recharge Solutions (FDC). The hub will address the high cost of fast-charging deployment and create an ecosystem for zero-tailpipe emission freight in Hunts Point.

Establishment of the Electric Truckers Cooperative (ETC):  The 6,000-member Drivers Cooperative, a driver-owned ride-hailing group located in New York City, will create a new worker-owned, zero-emissions logistics company under the direction of VGNA. Four Class 7 Volvo VNR Electric vehicles and one Mack LR Electric trash vehicle will be supplied by VGNA. Members of the ETC will have access to electric trucks that they might not otherwise be able to purchase. The Recharge Hub will house and power all of the cooperative’s trucks.

Creation of a Refrigerated Battery-Electric Fleet:  City Harvest, a food rescue organization, will get four additional Class 7 VNR Electric vehicles from VGNA. In addition to addressing food insecurity in the Bronx, the project will model emissions reduction in a fleet of refrigerated vehicles. All four trucks will have eTRUs, or electric transport refrigeration units, and will charge at the EV freight center.

“The Volvo Group’s goal is to drive prosperity through transport and infrastructure solutions,” Brandis said. “This project is in perfect alignment with that objective and our goal to have at least 35% fully electric vehicles sales by 2030.”

The project is scheduled to begin in early 2023, with the first truck deliveries taking place in the fourth quarter, according to VGNA.

The following groups collaborated with VGNA to create this worthy project:

  • The Greater Hunts Point EDC
  • City Harvest
  • The Drivers Cooperative
  • Collective Diaspora
  • Shell Recharge Solutions
  • Empire Clean Cities
  • Public Works Partners
  • Barretto Bay Strategies

Source and photo: PR

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Written By

Tim holds an electronics engineering degree and is working toward a second degree in IT/web development. He enjoys renewable energy topics and has a passion for the environment. He is a part-time writer and web developer, full time husband and father.


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