New York State launches $85 million clean transportation initiative


The New York State government has unveiled an $85 million programme to accelerate the development of sustainable transport solutions as part of their efforts to enhance the adoption of clean transportation and mobility.

The funding will be issued through the states’ new Clean Transportation Prizes competitions initiative, whose main aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector in the state. This specific initiative is mainly focused on disadvantaged and underserved communities.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said: “The transportation sector currently represents New York’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, making electrifying transportation critical both to achieve the State’s aggressive clean energy and climate goals and to improve the health of disadvantaged communities overburdened by vehicle pollution. The New York Clean Transportation Prizes programme will drive innovative and equitable solutions to accelerate the state’s transition to a clean transportation future and put New York on the road to energy independence and environmental and economic recovery.”

New York has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% economy-wide by 2030 and achieve 100% net zero emissions by 2050. The transportation sector represents 36% of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions with motor vehicles accounting for over 80% of those emissions, according to the Sierra Club.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in partnership with the New York State Department of Public Service and the Department of Environmental Conservation will manage the Clean Transportation Prizes initiative.

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Some three programmes will be funded by the initiative and they include:

  • Clean Neighborhoods Challenge – Up to three $10 million grand prizes will be awarded to innovative projects that address air pollution reduction at scale in disadvantaged communities. 
  • Electric Mobility Challenge – Up to three $7 million grand prizes will be awarded to projects that demonstrate innovative safe and convenient electric mobility options that help to solve disadvantaged community transportation needs. 
  • Electric Truck & Bus Challenge – Up to three $8 million grand prizes will be awarded to projects that demonstrate electrified solutions to the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles or their replacement through other electrified transportation modes.

The three programmes will be deployed in two phases in the service territories served by the six New York state investor-owned utilities.

Packages to be provided to some 15 projects to be shortlisted under the first phase will include:

  • A $100,000 planning grant;
  • Up to $50,000 in funding for community partners;
  • Up to $50,000 in-kind support from NYSERDA provided expert consultants  ;
  • Additional support services for project management, community engagement, and measurement and verification.

Applicants for the Clean Transportation Prizes competitions must register by July 22, 2021, to be eligible to submit proposals for the competitions.

The state is embarking on a number of programmes to ensure that it decarbonises its economy.

In mid-April, the New York State government unveiled a new programme to accelerate research, development and commercialisation of innovative carbon-capture technologies.

By setting aside $10 million in investment for the establishment of the Carbontech Development Initiative, the state government aims to meet its carbon emissions reduction targets and to establish New York as a world-class hub of carbon-to-value research, technology transfer and commercialisation.