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MED responds to NYPA $2 million increased funding for electric-drive vehicles

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MASSENA - Massena Electric Department (MED) Superintendent Andrew J. McMahon has responded to the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) recent decision to approve increased funding of $2 million to help municipal and rural electric cooperative systems in New York State purchase electric-drive vehicles for use in their municipal fleets.

The financing was approved by NYPA trustees on Tuesday and will be offered as part of the group’s Municipal Electric-Drive Vehicle Program.

The power authority serves 47 municipal and four rural cooperative electric utility systems around the state, providing them with low-cost hydropower to help meet the electricity needs of their residents and businesses.

MED is among many businesses, towns and villages eligible to participate in the program.

The program offsets additional purchase costs of clean-fueled vehicles and provides zero-interest financing. The funds made available for the purchase of these vehicles are recovered over the course of three years.

Among the electric and hybrid-electric vehicles now commercially available and offered for purchase under this program are the Ford Focus, Nissan Leaf and Honda Fit battery electric cars and the C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid cars.

The Municipal Electric-Drive Vehicle Program is consistent with Governor Cuomo’s efforts to encourage the use of electric-drive vehicles in order to reduce air pollution, lower the cost of government and reduce dependence on imported oil.

NYPA’s overall statewide Clean Transportation Program, including the Municipal Electric-Drive Vehicle Program, has placed more than 1,300 hybrid and all-electric vehicles in the fleets of numerous towns, villages and cities across New York. Together, these vehicles have traveled more than 11 million miles.

Mr. McMahon explained that MED has been involved in many programs offered by NYPA in the past that have focused on the environment, conservation and energy efficiency.

“In fact, we participated in a previous NYPA vehicle program, where we purchased a hybrid bucket truck. MED’s hybrid bucket truck uses about 30 percent less fuel than our other bucket trucks,” he said. “While there have been some technical challenges associated with the new hybrid bucket truck, it has been a source of great pride to be involved in the development of a more fuel efficient fleet as well as being on the leading edge of our industry. This program is typical of NYPA’s efforts to facilitate the evolution of our industry.”

Mr. McMahon said that the NYPA board and others should be applauded for their work.

“The NYPA Board, the Governor and (NYPA president and CEO Gil C. Quiniones) should be applauded for supporting the growth of this and other technologies which will lead to a more sustainable future,” he said.

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