New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has unveiled the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program, a $19 million project to encourage the purchase of energy-efficient vehicles and components.
Manufacturers of Class 3 to Class 8 trucks will receive the vouchers and can then pass the savings onto trucking companies and other buyers.
Cuomo has reserved $10 million for alternative-fuel related changes — the purchase of compressed natural gas, hybrid-electric, battery-electric vehicles or diesel retrofits — and emission-reduction tools in New York City. Also, $6 million has been set aside for vouchers worth up to $40,000 each to be directed toward the purchase or lease of CNG or electric vehicles, but the money can also be used to reconfigure a diesel truck to run on CNG. The rest of the money is to cover 80 percent of the cost of emission-reducing equipment on diesel trucks. To qualify for either voucher, companies must operate in New York City 70 percent of the time.
The balance of the project is directed toward battery-electric truck and bus purchases in 30 counties that don’t meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The $9 million in funds is available in vouchers of up to $60,000 each.
The battery-electric vouchers are currently available, and the New York City-specific vouchers for alternative fuels will be available later this month, with diesel emission-reduction project reimbursement available in September.
Funding for the project comes from Congress, the state's department of transportation and New York City. The program is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
“The Truck Voucher Incentive Program is another important step that New York State is taking to meet clean air standards,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This program highlights the state’s commitment to developing, promoting and implementing new measures that lower emissions and reduce our carbon footprint. By focusing on advanced transportation technologies, including electronic and hybrid vehicles, we can provide cleaner communities in which to live and work.”
Francis Murray, president of NYSERDA, pointed out these programs will ultimately help reduce reliance on foreign oil. At the same time, the vouchers encourage “municipalities and businesses to embrace more environmentally friendly transportation technologies," he said. - Jon Ross