Niagara Falls Receives Electric
Vehicles Through N.Y. Power Authority's Green Zones Program
The Office of the Mayor of Niagara Falls
October 24, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NIAGARA FALLS—New York Power Authority (NYPA)
President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel was joined
today by Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster to launch the city’s official entry
into the Authority’s Green Zones Program, an initiative for
substituting environmentally clean electric vehicles (EV) for
Niagara Falls’ participation begins with two GEM e4
vehicles, a four-passenger EV that will be used by the Niagara Falls
Police Department for patrolling and parking enforcement duties.
“I am delighted that one of my first official acts
as the Power Authority’s president is joining Mayor Dyster in
marking the city’s acquisition of these zero-emission electric
vehicles that use electrons, not gallons,” said Kessel. “They
symbolize our continuing partnership with the communities where our
Niagara Power Project is located for lowering the energy costs of
local and state governments and businesses. These efforts are also
closely aligned with initiatives under Governor Paterson for
combating greenhouse gas emissions through wide-ranging measures to
reduce use of fossil fuels and keep energy dollars in New York
“These two electric vehicles herald the priority
that the City of Niagara Falls is giving to green energy
technologies and improved energy efficiency,” said Mayor Dyster.
“This makes great sense for reducing the cost of city government and
saving taxpayer dollars.
I want to thank Richard Kessel and the Power
Authority for supporting our acquisition of the GEM e4s, which will
be among several EVs we’re going to be purchasing with the
Kessel, who joined NYPA on October 14, noted that
Niagara Falls State Park previously received nine EVs under the
statewide Green Zones Program in which the Power Authority assumes
half of the cost of the new vehicles. The program is designed to
replace gasoline and diesel vehicles in such limited-access areas as
parks and college campuses--and municipal downtown areas.
More than 20 Green Zones have been established
throughout the state under the program, resulting in purchase of
more than 50 EVs, along with battery-charging stations.
The program is one of a number of NYPA initiatives
that has resulted in the distribution of about 1,000 electric-drive
vehicles for electricity customers, other public facilities and in
the Power Authority’s own fleet. Collectively, the vehicles, which
range from three-wheeled EVs to hybrid-electric transit buses, have
logged more than nine million miles, making the Power Authority the
leading utility in the Northeast for introducing electric and
The two GEM e4 obtained by the City of Niagara
Falls will be used in place of Ford Crown Victoria police cars. They
are expected to travel a combined 8,000 miles per year, avoiding the
release of more than one ton of carbon dioxide annually by
displacing some 500 gallons of gasoline a year.
The GEM e4, which costs nearly $14,000, is
manufactured by Global Electric Motorcars, a Chrysler company
located in North Dakota. The front-wheel drive vehicle is charged
using regular household electric current (110 volts), without any
special adapter. Regenerative braking also helps charge the
12-horsepower vehicle when in use.
When fully charged, the front-wheel drive GEM e4
can attain a top speed of 25 miles per hour and has a range of about
30 miles. The vehicle’s six 12-volt maintenance-free lead-acid
batteries recharge in approximately six to eight hours.
In addition to the Green Zones project, the Power
Authority’s relationship with Niagara Falls center on the Niagara
project’s successful relicensing and on use of low-cost hydropower
for economic development, including businesses engaged in clean
Both the city and Niagara Falls School District
received allocations of Niagara power as municipal members of the
Niagara Power Coalition, one of the Power Authority’s key partners
in the relicensing of the 2,441-megawatt project.
The coalition members also benefit from payments
by NYPA of five million dollars a year over the new 50-year license
term of the project as part of the more than one billion dollars in financial support and other benefits for
Western New York. The new operating license went into effect in
Noteworthy allocations of Niagara hydropower to
Western New York businesses in recent months have included Globe
Specialty Metals and Northern Ethanol—both in Niagara Falls—in
support of innovative plans by those companies involving solar power
and biofuels and hundreds of new green collar technology jobs.
Overall, Niagara power supports approximately
45,000 jobs at 135 companies in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
■ NYPA uses no tax money or
state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of
bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of
electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting
energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric
transportation initiatives. ■ It is the
nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating
facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400
circuit-miles of transmission lines.
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