Big Green will soon be rolling down a street near you.
The city’s first fully electric mid-sized delivery truck, given the name Big Green by its owner, Ed Taylor, was unveiled in Hunts Point on June 16. The refrigerated cargo truck, which will carry fresh food and frozen goods like shellfish and seafood for Down East Seafood on Manida Street, was hailed by public officials and local advocates, who said it shows the way to cleaner air in a neighborhood afflicted with the diesel fumes of thousands of trucks headed to and from the Hunts Point market each day.
“For years we have been fighting for industry and residents to coexist more peacefully and live together in better harmony in our neighborhood,” said Maria Torres of The Point CDC. This truck shows that our vision is possible; that jobs can be created and businesses can thrive here in Hunts Point without needing to pollute our air and waterways.
To demonstrate the organization’s pleasure, The Point featured the new truck as a float in the Hunts Point Fish Parade.
Congressman José E. Serrano noted the uncanny timing of the new environmentally friendly truck’s introduction to the South Bronx, as the Gulf states struggle to recover from the devastating oil spill.
Electric vehicles show “the way the nation must go if we are to clean our air, our manufacturing base, and ensure that we never have cataclysmic oil spills like the one unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Serrano, who last year introduced legistation that called for the US Postal Service’s truck fleet to switch to electric technology.
The truck cost nearly a quarter of a million dollars, most of it paid for by government agencies, but increased use of electric vehicles, Serrano says, would increase demand for them, driving down the cost of batteries and other components, making them more affordable for private businesses.
Ed Taylor underlined the truck’s importance to a community where asthma is epidemic.
“Hunts Point has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the nation,” Taylor said. “The small step we take today is our way to begin mitigating the longstanding and destructive impacts of diesel trucking on our community.” He added, “We are very passionate about the environment, but this is a great business decision too. With our refrigeration needs, we are asking a lot of this truck, but we have found it completely up to the task.”
A version of this story appeared in the July 2010 issue of The Hunts Point Express.