'Green' Magic Word for Bronx Community College

Michael Saltzman 

June 24, 2005 


NEW YORK–Bronx Community College (BCC) and its newly funded Center for Sustainable Energy will be among the initial participants in a “Green Zones” demonstration program by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to encourage the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and other emerging technologies for cleaner air.

“The ‘Green Zones’ program will improve air quality by substituting environmentally cleaner electric-drive vehicles and electric outdoor power equipment for conventional vehicles and equipment,” said Eugene W. Zeltmann, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “We’re looking forward to working with Bronx Community College and the other program participants as we forge ahead in our statewide efforts to introduce new clean technologies that also reduce foreign oil dependence.”

BCC will receive three utility vehicles—a Taylor-Dunn Electruck and two GEM (Global Electric Motor) neighborhood electric vehicles—and one electric ox mower, for lawn-care maintenance at the 43-acre campus.

“Electric vehicles make a lot of sense for clearly defined areas like college campuses, where vehicles are used for short distances and are restricted to low speeds,” said Carolyn Williams, BCC president. “They’re a practical, economic solution for improving air quality, and we’re looking forward to working with the Power Authority to demonstrate them and other electric power equipment.”

Every six months, Bronx Community College and the other participants will provide NYPA with recorded mileage and other performance data for the new purchases.

Under the multiyear Green Zones program, NYPA will help finance and obtain electric and hybrid-electric vehicles and outdoor equipment to replace standard vehicles and equipment at areas such as college campuses and parks. It has budgeted for 2005 more than $200,000 for the program.

As examples of its funding, NYPA will pay the higher incremental cost, up to $4,000, for hybrid-electric vehicles, and for half the cost of off-road electric vehicles and electric power equipment like lawn mowers. (Gasoline-powered lawn equipment is a potent—and often unregulated—source of pollution.) The Power Authority will also cover the cost of the electric-vehicle charging stations.

 The other parties that are participants in Green Zones are the Hudson River Park Trust, Queens College, Bethpage State Park, the Niagara Reservation State Park, the Utica Department of Parks and Recreation, and the White Plains Recreation and Parks Department.

 In the last decade, the Power Authority has helped put a total of 750 electric and hybrid-electric vehicles in service, for its own fleet and those of its electricity customers and other entities. Collectively, the vehicles, which range from three-wheel parking enforcement vehicles to full-size transit buses, have traveled more than four million miles.

Gov. George E. Pataki has directed that half of all non-emergency, light-duty vehicles acquired by state agencies and other affected entities be alternative fueled by 2005. His Executive Order increases the amount to 100 percent by 2010.