Public Power Partnership to Promote Electric Drive Vehicles in New York

Brian Warner
(914) 390-8183

May 20, 2003


ALBANY—New York Power Authority (NYPA) trustees Tuesday announced creation of a $1.2 million fund to help the state’s municipal and rural electric cooperative systems purchase electric and hybrid-drive vehicles for their municipal fleets. The program will be conducted in cooperation with the Municipal Electric Utility Association of New York State (MEUA), whose members serve 500,000 New York electricity consumers.

“This partnership furthers Governor George Pataki’s clean air initiatives in communities already linked to NYPA’s clean hydropower resources,” said Eugene W. Zeltmann, president and chief executive officer of the Power Authority.

Through the NYPA/MEUA Municipal Alternative Vehicle Partnership Program, municipal and cooperative electric systems can apply for up to $22,000 in financing toward the purchase of commercially available electric drive vehicles.  All-electric vehicles produce zero-emissions and run on an electric motor powered by a battery pack; hybrid-electric vehicles use a combination of a gasoline engine and electric motor to increase gas mileage, and reduce tailpipe emissions.

“This is certainly the jump start MEUA needs in our partnership program with the New York Power Authority,” said Bob Mullane, MEUA Executive Director.

“And we appreciate the support of Chairman Louis P. Ciminelli, President Zeltmann and the Authority Trustees in adopting a financial plan for this program to go forward.”

Among the electric and hybrid-electric vehicles now commercially available are the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius hybrid-electric passenger cars. Off-road utility work vehicles include the Taylor-Dunn Electruck and the John Deere-E-Gator; a combination riding lawn-mower, capable of snow removal.

In August 2002, NYPA hosted a “Ride and Drive” exhibition of electric vehicles for members of the Municipal Electric Utility Association attending an annual conference in Saratoga Springs. NYPA at that time loaned the MEUA leadership a Toyota Prius to demonstrate the capability of a vehicle with hybrid electric technology.

In April 2003, the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) and NYPA provided seminars and another “Ride and Drive” exhibition at an MEUA semi-annual meeting in Liverpool, near Syracuse.

NYPA is among the national leaders in promoting electric drive vehicles and is credited with placing more than 350 vehicles in service with customer fleets. NYPA electric transportation projects include electric station-cars for commuters, all electric school buses, small urban electric vehicles as well as electric delivery trucks.  It is the nation’s largest supplier of electricity for public transportation, supplying the power for commuter and subway trains in the New York metropolitan region.