NEW YORK | “It’s not physical, it’s electric,” sang Robert Charlebois. And that could be the mantra of several Quebec companies, which land in New York with the aim of electrifying the city that never sleeps.
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One of them, Effenco, has developed a hybrid electric solution for different types of trucks. The company even managed to establish itself within the New York Sanitation Department, in one of the largest municipal garages on the planet, located in the borough of Queens. The building is equivalent in length to the height of the Empire State Building.
“We have all the resources here to operate a city like New York, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Here at the Department, we have a fleet of 6,000 vehicles, including 2,000 garbage trucks. It is the largest in the United States if not the world, ”Spiro Kattan, director of the New York Sanitation Department, tells us proudly in an interview with The newspaper.
A long process
During the passage of Journal, the hybrid trucks developed by the Quebec company were on the ground for operations surrounding the floods. But they can also be used as snow plows or emergency vehicles.
In this huge installation, everyone knows Effenco who has developed a solution in collaboration with the Municipality for several years.
“We are very lucky to have been selected because it has been a very long process, about seven years. We worked with the City in their laboratory, I stayed several months in New York. We tested our solutions, we drove in all the boroughs, we obtained our certification from the manufacturer Mach who installs our process. But in the end, we succeeded, ”says David Arsenault, president of Effenco.
More than 1000 trucks to convert
In total, the 80-employee company will “electrify” 1,100 garbage trucks over the next three years.
“They developed the best solution for us, which is very easy to implement. And we will continue to work with them because our fleet must be completely electrified by 2040 ”, assures the commissioner of the Department, Rocky DiRico, a solid fellow who answers directly to the mayor Bill de Blasio, during an interview with Le Journal.
Mr. DiRico has also been an ally in the development of hybrid vehicles in New York. “He convinced the public authorities to release the funds. For us, it was decisive because at the start, it was quite avant-garde, ”says David Arsenault.
A gigantic market that is growing at the speed of light
If the Quebec company Effenco has succeeded in charming New York City, it could be the first step in an operation aimed at monopolizing the American market.
“Currently, we have the contract for part of the garbage trucks, but there are 30,000 vehicles in the New York City fleet. Our solution could be applied to other vehicles, ”says President David Arsenault.
According to the latter, several states will also adopt greener standards in the coming years, such as New York or California.
“We feel that demand will be multiplied by 50 for our type of products. So we are confident, ”adds the boss of Effenco, who founded the company in 2006.
For the new general delegate in New York, Martine Hébert, we risk seeing more and more Quebec companies landing in New York and not only in the transport sector.
“The context is very favorable. There’s the Biden Plan, massive investments in New York State’s climate plan, and the city is very proactive on decarbonization. Our advantage is that Quebec has taken the lead, we have invested, and everyone wants our experience, ”she says.
A metropolis hungry for electrical terminals
If Montreal and the cities of Quebec have installed several charging stations for a very long time, New York is only just beginning to set up its network, thanks in particular to the Quebec company AddÉnergie.
The newspaper has noticed that, on the Upper East Side, one of the most affluent areas of the city, these terminals are already very popular.
“I love having quick access to terminals, I live right next door,” shares a New Yorker I met, Yankees cap screwed to his head, coffee in hand.
Made in Mauricie
“We are in the implementation phase. Currently there are 15-20 stations that have been installed, mainly in Manhattan and the Bronx. These are terminals that can charge two cars at the same time, ”explains Rose Lenoff, business development manager, in an interview with The newspaper.
A total of 120 terminals manufactured at the company’s plant in Shawinigan, Mauricie, will be installed as part of the deployment of the FLO network at 34 different locations, but also at four sites for New York City.
This project represents the second largest urban deployment in the United States, after that of Los Angeles. AddÉnergie is in growth mode and has 275 employees around the world.