This Ford Escape and utility co. bucket truck (pictured below) are two examples of electric-drive vehicles available to municipal and rural electric cooperative systems in New York State under the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Municipal Electric Drive Program.
In December, the New York Power Authority approved $2 million in funding to help municipal and rural electric cooperative systems in New York State purchase electric-drive vehicles for use in their municipal fleets. But the future for electric cars in New York state is unclear.
Electric cars were popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and came back in vogue during the late 1990s, finding a spot in the marketplace as gasoline/electric hybrids. In the last year, fully-electric cars finally made a comeback in vehicles commercially produced by Nissan and Tesla.
On Monday, in the western Massachusetts town of Greenfield, state Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan announced a new statewide grant program that will assist communities in investing in electric vehicles and infrastructure.
WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard spoke with Secretary Sullivan about the new strategy to reduce the state's reliance on fossil fuels.
Secretary Sullivan and other state officials will also join residents in the town of Chelmsford to mark the launch of the program.