As the popularity of food trucks increases, sadly so does their carbon footprint. The small movable businesses offer many affordable and interesting alternatives for ‘fast food’ consumers, but they also use an average of USD 500 of gas a month to run their lights, refrigerators and cooking equipment — emitting as much nitrous oxide as approximately 186 cars. But a new initiative in New York City is hoping to change this, by introducing a fleet of energy-efficient solar-powered trucks, which can be rented out by independent vendors for five years at no extra cost to them.
New York City currently hosts around 5,000 licensed food trucks which are contributing massively to the city’s pollution problem. The initiative — which is a collaboration between MOVE Systems and the local government — will see 500 of MOVE System’s MRV100s on the sidewalks by summer 2016, in the hope of reducing pollution by 60 percent. The carts are powered by a hybrid generator system which uses solar energy harnessed from photovoltaic panels on the roof, as well as natural gas and a battery powered electrical system. The result is a new generation of food trucks that are cleaner, quieter and safer. The trucks are also financially viable, saving vendors a potential USD 5,200 per year in energy charges.
The first one hundred trucks are being funded by MOVE and reserved for disabled veterans, while the remaining 400 are available to licensed vendors on a first come first served basis via an online application. Are there other integral parts of urban centers that can be updated in this way?