Electric Fish Deliveries
Supported in Part by CUNY
I recently heard about an exciting initiative that in part exists thanks to our friends over at The Center for Sustainable Energy. The project is actually a van–an electric one that belongs to a fish distributor based in The Hunts Point Cooperative Market. This commercial market is the largest food distributor in the world. It has over 1 million square feet of refrigerated space. (That is way more than the cold room at Fairway.) And being a processing and distributing facility, it also has about 20,000 trucks coming through it–and the surrounding areas–on a weekly basis. Think about how many trucks roll through your neighborhood and then multiply that, by a lot.
Enter the electric powered truck that the Center for Sustainable Energy (and NYSERDA and the Bronx Overall Development Corportation) helped Edward Taylor, of Down East Seafood acquire. The test truck went into action in the fall of 2008 and as the Times coverage notes, Mr. Taylor can run his morning deliveries from the Bronx to three Manhattan locations and use only 20% of the battery. The vehicle needs an eight hour charge in order to drive up to 150 miles at a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour, which makes it ideal for the purpose that Down East Seafood needs it to serve.
While this one truck (eventually two will be used by the company) is still an exception to the norm in this sea of tens of thousands of trucks, its success could be a new model for other distributors based at The Market. Imagine if there was a truck charging station at the facility or better yet, if there was a co-operative system for sharing the delivery vehicles. And what if there was a solar array on the flat roof of the building that provided much of the energy needed for charging?
Pipedreams? Perhaps, still so. But the British based truck company that made both the test vehicles and the real ones, is ready to supply the truck to the American market. Now all we need is demand. The economy of scale that The Hunts Point Cooperative Market could provide, should be exploited.