'Green' Magic Word for Queens College
Maria Terrone or Maria Matteo
June 24, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK–Queens College 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 Queens 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.”
Queens College, located on a 77-acre campus in Flushing, will receive three GEM (Global Electric Motor) neighborhood electric vehicles and one Taylor Dunn Electruck, an off-road electric work vehicle.
“Electric vehicles makes great sense for low-speed designated areas like college campuses,” said James L. Muyskens, Queens College president. “They’re a practical, economic solution for improving air quality, and we’re looking forward to working with the New York Power Authority to demonstrate them at our campus.”
Every six months, Queens 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 co-fund the purchase of the 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 this purpose.
As examples of its funding, NYPA will pay the higher incremental cost, up to $4,000, for hybrid-electric vehicles, and 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 provide for the electric-vehicle charging stations.
Queens College earned additional funds to purchase the electric vehicles by participating over the last two years in NYPA’s Peak Load Management program—an initiative for reducing electricity use during the air-conditioning season. “By participating, we were able to save energy when it was most needed in the region,” said Basil Bascetta, the college’s chief administrative superintendent. “Of course, we’re part of the program again this summer.” (Participants are paid $40 for each kilowatt they commit to reduce when called upon.)
In addition to Queens College, the other organizations that have signed on to the Green Zones program are the Hudson River Park Trust, Bronx Community College, the White Plains Recreation and Parks Department, the Utica Department of Parks and Recreation, Bethpage State Park, and the Niagara Reservation State Park.
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