New York's Public Power Systems Ally
to Promote Electric Vehicles
New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the Municipal Electric Utilities
Association of New York State (MEUA), whose members serve 500,000 New York
electricity consumers, Wednesday announced a cooperative effort to promote
the use of electric vehicles in New York State.
especially fitting that the public power systems of the Empire State are
uniting in an effort to promote environmentally beneficial transportation
choices for the citizens of New York,” said Eugene W.
Zeltmann, president and chief executive officer of the Power Authority.
“The municipal electric systems and rural electric
cooperatives of New York State are served by hydroelectricity from the New
York Power Authority. By using that clean, renewable power to fuel
emission-free electric vehicles, New York’s public power communities will
showcase their commitment to environmental quality,” Zeltmann said in
remarks Wednesday to the MEUA Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs.
“Electric vehicles can help address concerns about air
and noise pollution, as well as work to reduce our nation’s dependence on
imported fuel sources,” said Karl Lux, president of the MEUA, which
represents 46 municipal electric communities and four rural electric
cooperatives in New York State. “This electric vehicle initiative is another
good example of MEUA and NYPA working together to serve our customers.
“Our local public power systems hope to demonstrate the
practical day-to-day use of electric vehicles. We also plan to make EVs
available to schools for educational purposes and to community groups to
raise public awareness of the benefits of electric vehicles,” Lux said.
Following his remarks, Zeltmann presented the keys to a
Toyota Prius, a hybrid-electric vehicle, to Robert Mullane, the MEUA’s
executive director. The vehicle, which NYPA is lending to the MEUA for one
year for business purposes, uses a combination of gasoline and electric
motors to increase gas mileage and reduce tailpipe emissions.
A “Ride and Drive” exhibition of electric vehicles at
the MEUA Annual Conference kicked off the new effort. In addition to a
Prius, vehicles made available for test drives by mayors and other municipal
electric system officials attending the conference included:
Ford’s TH!NK city,
an all-electric vehicle that NYPA is now deploying in its “Clean Commute”
station car project in Metropolitan New York;
Toyota’s RAV4-EV, an all-electric SUV;
Ford’s EV Ranger, an all-electric pick-up truck;
Ford’s TH!NK Neighbor, an open-air, low-speed EV;
John Deere’s Gator EV, an all-electric utility vehicle;
Electric bicycles and scooters.
“Under the leadership of Governor George E. Pataki, New York State has
become a pacesetter in electric transportation,” Zeltmann said.
New York State’s efforts to promote electric and other clean-fueled
vehicles include rigorous vehicle emission standards, tax incentives and
Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act funding for EVs and
other clean-fueled vehicles in mass transit and government fleets. In 2001,
Governor Pataki issued an Executive Order requiring that all new light-duty
state vehicles be alternative-fueled vehicles by 2010 with the exception of
specialty, police or emergency vehicles. This summer, the state legislature
approved legislation proposed by Governor Pataki to enhance tax incentives
for the purchase of hybrid-electric vehicles.
The New York Power Authority is
the nation’s largest supplier of electricity for mass transit, powering the
subway and commuter trains of metropolitan New York. NYPA has put into
service some 350 EVs of various sizes and purposes around the state for use
by its customers as well as at its own facilities. In 2000, these vehicles
passed the million-mile mark for combined electric-vehicle mileage, making
NYPA the first utility in the Northeast to achieve this milestone.
NYPA’s electric transportation
projects include station/commuter cars, hybrid-electric transit buses,
all-electric school buses and shuttle buses, small urban electric vehicles
and electric delivery vans and trucks. In addition to its EV initiatives,
NYPA is working on a number of other projects to promote clean
transportation technologies, including pollution control devices on New York
City school buses and electric technology to curb emissions from idling