The Hunts Point peninsula in the South Bronx is home to the nation's largest wholesale food hub, 9 waste transfer facilities, several large recycling yards, and a residential community of 13,000, all located in the southern tier of the poorest urban Congressional District in the United States. The peninsula is characterized by disparities between a thriving living wage employment hub that benefits the entire downstate region and an archetypal environmental justice community where 40% of residents live below the poverty line and children ages 5-14 consistently have some of the highest asthma rates in the state. The solution laid out in this proposal seeks to leverage battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and public charging infrastructure to improve air quality and create economic opportunity for the South Bronx without disrupting the essential freight activities that power the local economy.
This project will partner with local fleets and stakeholders to deploy a BEV refuse truck and refrigerated BEVs and develop a new Food Distribution Center charging hub to model truly zero-emissions solutions in Hunt Point's 2 dominate sectors - food and waste. The project will validate strategies for lowering barriers to EV adoption in under-resourced communities. In the near-term the project will expand access to commercial BEVs and seed Hunts Point's EV ecosystem. In the longer-term it will offer policymakers and advocates a model to accelerate EV adoption in similar communities, dimish health risks, and support economic self-determination.