Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

State launches clean transportation competition for underserved communities

New York state has launched a competition that will award up to $85 million to boost clean transportation.

The New York Clean Transportation Prizes program will feature three competitions for innovative global solutions to enhance clean transportation and mobility options and reduce harmful emissions statewide, with a focus on underserved communities.

The competitions include the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge, the Electric Mobility Challenge and the Electric Truck & Bus Challenge, with each running in two phases.

“Supporting pioneering clean transportation and mobility solutions is imperative in our fight against climate change and our goal of electrifying the transportation sector,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement this week. “This initiative helps to leverage forward-thinking strategies and enables clean transportation options in all communities to fight inequality. The competing teams will advance their most transformative ideas to lower carbon emissions, improve air quality, and create a lasting impact that benefits all New Yorkers.”

Applicants for the Clean Transportation Prizes competitions must register by July 22, 2021, to be eligible to submit proposals for the following Clean Transportation Prize competitions:

• Clean Neighborhoods Challenge – Up to three $10 million grand prizes will be awarded to projects that address air pollution reduction at scale in disadvantaged communities. The Clean Neighborhoods Challenge submission deadline is Aug. 24, 2021.
• Electric Mobility Challenge – Up to three $7 million grand prizes will be awarded to projects that demonstrate innovative safe and convenient electric mobility options that help to solve disadvantaged community transportation needs. Submission deadline is Aug. 25, 2021.
• Electric Truck & Bus Challenge – Up to three $8 million grand prizes will be awarded to projects that demonstrate electrified solutions to the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles or their replacement through other electrified transportation modes. The Electric Truck & Bus Challenge submission deadline is Aug. 26, 2021.

“Sustainable clean transportation options both enhance the quality of life in underserved communities and also support access to jobs, essential services and other beneficial travel,” said President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Doreen M. Harris. “Under Gov. Cuomo’s leadership, the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program will engage global innovators, transportation experts and other stakeholders to build innovative, replicable solutions that increase transportation options while helping meet our state’s clean energy agenda.”

An independent pool of global experts will help the state assess applications and help guide the project selection process through different phases of the competition.

Under the first phase of the program, projects selected and located in one of the six New York State Investor-Owned Utility territories will be eligible to receive the following award package:
• A $100,000 planning grant
• Up to $50,000 in funding for community partners
• Up to $50,000 in-kind support from NYSERDA-provided expert consultants
• Additional support services for project management, community engagement and measurement and verification

Up to 15 projects within the IOU territories could be awarded funding during the first phase, and proposals will be selected by winter 2021-2022. Final proposals will be submitted by spring 2022 as part of the second phase and grand prizes to be selected in summer 2022.

“Our industry welcomes New York’s three clean transportation competitions. By harnessing innovation and their competitive spirit, companies can show that while you are reducing pollution from transportation you can also provide cleaner air and better transit options to New York’s neighborhoods, and find creative ways to move freight or people,” said Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy Anne Reynolds. “We are excited to see the winning innovations that result.”

The transportation sector is responsible for the largest contribution to greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S., with these emissions increasing more than any other sector over the last 30 years. Announced in July 2020 under the $701 Make Ready Initiative to advance electric vehicle infrastructure, the Clean Transportation Prizes program accelerates the transition to cleaner mobility through planning grants and community outreach and engagement resources to help identify ways to overcome persistent transportation challenges, including those faced by disadvantaged communities.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer