New York State has embarked upon an ambitious – and expensive – plan to bring more low carbon commercial trucking to its roads. A new $19 million program looks to offers incentives to companies, non-profits and state and local government entities to make the switch.
The New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program, as it is being called, is broken up into two parts, which are regional in nature. These include:
- $9 million for battery-electric truck vouchers offered in 30 counties around the state that did not meet federal clean air standards, primarily downstate New York, the Capital Region and Western New York.
- $10 million for an alternative fuels voucher fund for New York City, which also includes compressed natural gas, hybrid-electric vehicles and retrofitting diesel engines with emission control devices.
Both parts will focus upon large pick-ups, delivery vans, box trucks, buses, tractor trailers, garbage trucks, and construction vehicles such as cement and dump trucks. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is working with approved vehicle manufacturers, dealers and retrofit providers on vouchers associated with the program, “allowing them to pass on the full incentive in a lower vehicle price to buyers.”
The portion of the program outside of the New York City area will award up to $60,000 toward the purchase of electric trucks and buses, while within the City it is up to $40,000 for the purchase or lease of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), hybrid-electric or battery-electric trucks.
It is the hope of government officials that this program “could encourage the purchase or retrofit of up to 1,000 low-emission trucks in areas of the state with the poorest air quality.” Given that the transportation sector is responsible for three-fourths of petroleum consumption in this country, and 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in New York, even a small number of change overs will likely be seen as a win by all those involved in the program.
“The Truck Voucher Incentive Program is another important step that New York State is taking to meet clean air standards,” said New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement. “This program highlights the State’s commitment to developing, promoting, and implementing new measures that lower emissions and reduce our carbon footprint. By focusing on advanced transportation technologies, including electronic and hybrid vehicles, we can provide cleaner communities in which to live and work.”