As New York aims for a zero-emissions fleet by 2035, the next clean-energy auto technicians could be in the Bronx. – Bronx Times

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One of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s most ambitious climate goals is the gradual electrification of the state’s vehicle infrastructure with the goal of having all new passenger cars and trucks sold statewide be zero-emissions. ‘by 2035. Over the next 12 years, the state hopes to have a workforce of automotive technicians equipped to handle a fleet of vehicles that are increasingly reliant on electricity.

One of the first recipients of the state’s zero-emissions push is Alfred E. Smith Career and Technical Education High School in the South Melrose section, which received one of 13 retired hybrid and all-electric vehicles donated by the state for the purpose of “opening up new career paths” in the state’s clean energy economy.

Last year, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) launched a pilot program — its fleet donation program — by donating three hybrid and all-electric vehicles that could no longer be used for state transportation to Boards of Cooperative Education Centers (BOCES) institutions across the state for use in their automotive technical training courses.

“It will be a great addition to our new state-of-the-art body shop and provide a handy tool to learn about new green technologies. We hope this is just the beginning of a long relationship that will further benefit students as they build their lives toward a bright future,” said Principal Evan Schwartz.

New York isn’t the only state to accelerate transportation electrification over the next decade, as California has set a major precedent by banning the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. The next step, according to energy managers, is to prepare a new workforce of clean energy automotive technicians.

NYPA officials say the program is designed to train the next generation of automotive technicians during the state’s transition to electric vehicles and ensure the integration of hybrid and all-electric vehicle technology into technical training programs. professional.

“New York State’s transition to zero-emission vehicles opens up new career opportunities for our increasingly skilled clean energy workforce and we are excited to give students the opportunity to develop new, sought-after expertise in order to compete in the clean energy economy,” NYPA President and Interim CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “These vehicles being retired from the NYPA and Canal Corporation fleets will serve as a convenient resource for automotive technicians in maintenance and repair training programs in underserved communities near our assets and ensure that a robust and reproducible can be used statewide.”

It is estimated that fully electrifying school buses in New York City alone would be equivalent to taking nearly 650,000 gas-powered passenger vehicles off the road, and the goal is to ensure that the school bus fleet in the State to be zero emissions by 2027.

New York has more than 50,000 school buses, or 10% of the national fleet. Schools in New York will receive more than $18 million to purchase electric buses, thanks to funding from the Clean School Bus Program, a five-year, $5 billion federal infrastructure program.

Climate scientists tell the Bronx Times that zero-emission electrification of buses and public transit can help fight climate change, improve air quality and provide stable infrastructure that is less dependent on fossil fuels and fluctuating energy costs.

However, replacing all diesel school buses in the state with electric buses is expected to cost the state between $8 billion and $15.25 billion more than the cost of replacing them with new diesel buses, according to the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think tank in the state capitol.

The added cost of electric buses, their limited range compared to diesel buses, and their faster battery drain in cold weather and hilly terrain will create significant challenges for local school districts skeptical of Hochul’s plan.

Contact Robbie Sequeira at rsequeira@schnepsmedia.com or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes

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