Attorney General James Unveils First-Of-Its-Kind All-Electric Truck Program In New York City

Funds from AG’s Office Provided Nine All-Electric, Zero-Emission Delivery Trucks for Six Non-Profit Organizations  

NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James today unveiled the first-of-its-kind fleet of all-electric, zero-emission, delivery trucks in New York City in advance of Earth Day. With funding from the Attorney General’s Office, six non-profit organizations were provided with some of the world’s first battery-powered delivery trucks to support their operations for two years. The project is funded by a $9.5 million settlement the Attorney General’s Office reached with American Electric Power, the nation’s largest power company, over the company’s violations of the federal Clean Air Act.  

“Every day, my office fights to protect the thousands of New Yorkers who are sickened or die prematurely because of unhealthy air,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “The dirty diesel trucks that crowd our streets are a major source of our city’s worst local air pollution and greatly contribute to climate change. Zero-emission, all-electric trucks are the future of New York City’s truck fleet and I am proud to lead the way to provide these clean, efficient, and economical alternatives.” 

Traditional diesel delivery trucks are one of the greatest contributors to air pollution in New York City. These trucks are also responsible for over 70 percent of the emissions of deadly fine soot pollution by traffic in the city. According to the City of New York, current levels of fine soot pollution contribute to 2,300 premature deaths and 6,300 emergency room visits and hospitalizations for respiratory and cardiovascular disease in New York City each year. Specifically, fine soot pollution from trucks and buses contribute to 320 of these deaths and 870 of the emergency room visits and hospitalizations. 

The vast majority of the health impacts of soot and air pollution exposure are felt in low-income communities and communities of color in New York City. These communities have the highest truck and traffic volume and have industrial facilities, such as waste transfer stations, located in close proximity to residential areas. In fact, the children in many of these areas of the South Bronx, Northern Manhattan, and Central Brooklyn are three times more likely than children in other areas of the city to be diagnosed with asthma.  

These all-electric trucks eliminate vehicle emissions of all air pollutants, including soot and those that contribute to climate change. The use of these trucks over traditional diesel-fueled trucks would directly address New York City’s soot problem – one of the largest, most persistent, and deadliest air pollution problems. Additionally, electric trucks are more fuel efficient and cost less to maintain than conventional gas and diesel-fueled trucks.   

The six non-profit organizations participating in this project were chosen through a competitive application process. Big Reuse, GrowNYC, Habitat for Humanity New York City, New York Botanical Garden, Sustainable South Bronx, and the Wildlife Conservation Society are all  receiving funding from the Attorney General to lease one or two all-electric Mitsubishi Fuso “eCanter” medium-duty delivery trucks and charging infrastructure to support their operations for two years.    

During this period, the Attorney General’s Office will study the performance of the electric trucks deployed in the project, and document their utility and performance in New York City. The Attorney General’s Office will then prepare a report on the study’s findings on the trucks’ environmental, efficiency, and economic benefits, as well as addressing validating the business case for the adoption of these vehicles by private fleet operators. 

“This funding is providing a double dose of good for our community by cutting down on air pollution and providing our nonprofits with resources,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “So many of our Bronx residents suffer from health issues directly related to air pollution and seeing pilot programs like this one gives me hope for the future. I thank Attorney General Letitia James for her leadership on this issue.” 

“For many years, communities like the South Bronx have been unfairly exposed to negative environmental impacts, and moreover treated negatively by policies and leaders who completely ignored the ramifications and effects of poor air quality on generations of Bronx residents," said Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo. “While we have accomplished plenty in the last decade, there is still much more to do to turn the tide of poor health outcomes for people of color. That is why I am extremely grateful to Attorney General Letitia James for this one of a kind initiative. With a vibrant commercial corridor sounding our neighborhoods, the availability of all-electric trucks will have a direct and immediate impact in improving air quality and more importantly the health outcomes of our families.” 

“Congratulations to all of the non-profit organizations who have been awarded funds for a two-year lease of electric trucks thanks to Attorney General James, which will improve environmental conditions in the Bronx,” said Assemblyman Michael Blake. “From Sustainable South Bronx to the New York Botanical Gardens, we know that local organizations' efforts can help rectify the environmental injustice within our communities. We also know that lower income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by pollution and suffer higher rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, or other pollution induced conditions. These electric trucks will take a critical step towards making New York and specifically the Bronx a cleaner, safer, more livable community. We thank Attorney General James for recognizing the economic and environmental benefits these grants will have on Bronxites."  

“In the South Bronx, the sight of tractor trailers and large industrial vehicles making their way through our neighborhoods is a view we are all too familiar with,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca. “Not only do these trucks bring their daily deliveries to my district, they bring with them an abundance of air pollutants that have saddled our community with the worst air quality rates in New York City. It’s no secret, either; study after study has shown how much pollution is in the air that we breathe, directly leading to generations of black and brown families suffering from shocking levels of asthma and other illnesses. Using her platform, Attorney General James is taking critical action to address this terrible inequality by working with organizations to remove gas-guzzling vehicles off our roads and replace them with electric vehicles. On behalf of my constituents, I thank Attorney General James for addressing this issue, and I look forward to working with her office to ensure future generations of Bronxites will breathe in the fresh air they deserve.” 

"The Bronx has some of the worst health disparities in the nation, and studies have shown that in recent years close to 410 out of every 10,000 Bronx children visited the emergency room for asthma symptoms,” said Council Member Diana Ayala. “Electric vehicles can provide significant benefits to environmentally distressed neighborhoods. I would like to thank Attorney General Letitia James for awarding these one-of-a-kind electric trucks to these deserving organizations. While there is still a lot of work to do, this is a significant step in the right direction.” 

“Sustainable South Bronx is generating opportunities for New Yorkers facing barriers to employment while building an economically and environmentally sustainable New York City,” said Jennifer Mitchell, Executive Director, Sustainable South Bronx and The HOPE Program. “We are engaging community members to mitigate the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities, improving public health outcomes while assisting job seekers in establishing the foundations for long and fulfilling careers. This electric truck will increase our impact while reducing the carbon footprint of our operations and we thank Attorney General James for funding this important program.” 

“We are grateful to Attorney General James’ Office for these two electric trucks,” said Karen Haycox, CEO, Habitat for Humanity New York City. “More trucks in our ReStore’s fleet means that we can collect more donations, divert more usable material from landfills and generate more funds for our core mission to build and preserve affordable housing in and around NYC. We are thrilled that our city and our world are made a little cleaner and greener by this extraordinary effort and we look forward to partnering with Attorney General’s Office for years to come.” 

"Big Reuse thanks the Attorney General James and her team for their leadership on the E-truck program,” said Justin Green, Executive Director, Big Reuse. “It has been a dream for Big Reuse to have zero emission truck to carry out our mission of achieving zero waste. The e-trucks are more cost effective, quieter and all around better to drive than a diesel truck – in addition to not emitting exhaust into our neighborhoods. We can't wait until all the trucks in NYC are e-trucks." 

“Many thanks to Attorney General Letitia James for funding this project and investing in a cleaner, greener New York City,” said David Hurd, DirectorGrowNYC’s Zero Waste programs. “This electric truck will displace our gas powered truck, and it will be used to compost over 2.5 million pounds of food scraps each year, bringing the City closer to its Zero Waste and carbon reduction goals. We’re elated that we’ll soon hit a 15-million-pound milestone of food scraps diverted with this zero-emission, high performance, electric truck.”   

“The New York Botanical Garden would like to thank the New York Attorney General’s office for providing two Mitsubishi/Fuso fully electric trucks, which we use to transport plants and equipment on our 250-acre campus and for deliveries throughout the metropolitan area,” said Mark Cupkovic, Vice President for Site Operations and Chief Sustainability Officer, New York Botanical Garden. “The trucks have proven to be reliable, easy to operate, and fully functional as part of the Garden’s fleet of vehicles. The installation of the electric charging station for the vehicles was straightforward, and it has also been reliable and easy to use. The Botanical Garden appreciates this opportunity to demonstrate the potential of an urban delivery system that reduces climate-changing carbon emissions and other pollutants while providing the necessary services.”   

“For too long, dangerous air pollution and climate change have had a disproportionate impact on low-income and communities of color in New York City,” said Cecil Corbin-Mark, Deputy Director and Director of Policy Initiatives, WE ACT For Environmental Justice. “One of the greatest factors contributing to this pollution are the dirty diesel trucks that traverse our city and emit hazardous chemicals that harm our people and our planet. These new, all-electric trucks will go a long way in curbing emissions and protecting our most vulnerable communities and we thank Attorney General James for her leadership on this issue.” 

“With today’s focus on developing work trucks that emit zero-tailpipe emissions, FUSO is very appreciative of partnerships like the Urban Clean Air Truck Demonstration from the NYS Office of the Attorney General,” said Justin Palmer, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. “These types of programs help to facilitate real-world deployment of industry-leading technologies like the world’s first series produced FUSO eCanter all-electric truck.” 

This project is being led for Attorney General James by Policy Advisor Peter C. Washburn of the Environmental Protection Bureau, in consultation with Environmental Protection Deputy Bureau Chief Monica Wagner and Bureau Chief Lemuel Srolovic. The Environmental Protection Bureau is part of the Division of Social Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux.