New York Launches $85 Million Clean Transportation Prizes Initiative

New York is launching the Clean Transportation Prizes program, which offers up to $85 million through three competitions for innovative global solutions to enhance clean transportation and mobility options and reduce harmful emissions across New York State, focusing on underserved communities. The competitions include the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge, the Electric Mobility Challenge and the Electric Truck & Bus Challenge, with each run in two phases. The announcement supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo‘s nation-leading clean energy and climate goals in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. 

“Supporting pioneering clean transportation and mobility solutions is imperative in our fight against climate change and our goal of electrifying the transportation sector,” Governor Cuomo said“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 innovative projects that address air pollution reduction at scale in disadvantaged communities. The Clean Neighborhoods Challenge submission deadline is Tuesday, August 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.  The Electric Mobility Challenge submission deadline is Wednesday, August 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 Thursday, August 26, 2021.  

“As we focus on our economic recovery for the post-pandemic future we must confront the effects of climate change that threaten our communities,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The Clean Transportation Prizes Initiative will bring together the brightest minds to boost clean energy and reduce air pollution in disadvantaged communities, and is an example of New York’s commitment to building a greener, more resilient future.”

President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Doreen M. Harris said, “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. Under Governor 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 New York 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

Partnering in the program, the Long Island Power Authority is making one award per challenge available during the first phase will also fund up to one grand prize of up to $10 million on Long Island, subject to the availability of funds. Proposals from LIPA’s territory will be eligible for similar support throughout phase one and will submit proposals on the same timelines. Outside of the IOU and LIPA service territories, proposals are eligible to receive up to $50,000 of in-kind support from consultants plus additional support services. These proposals will also be marketed to potential funding partners but are not eligible for monetary awards through this program.

Up to 15 projects within the IOU territories and up to three on Long Island could be awarded funding during the first phase. In the first phase, 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.    

The Clean Transportation Prizes website offers potential applicants resources such as playbooks, reports and datasets to help inspire creative solutions to transportation challenges. The website also provides details on upcoming educational webinars beginning in May.

The New York Clean Transportation Prizes program is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in partnership with the New York State Department of Public Service and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), as part of an $85 million allocation through New York’s Make Ready program to accelerate the transition to a clean transportation future. The Make Ready program is funded by investor-owned utilities in New York State to boost access to charging stations, EV infrastructure, and other clean transportation options, and support equitable access and benefits for lower-socio-economic and disadvantaged communities. 

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