Mayor LaToya Cantrell and public officials unveiled a fleet of hybrid city vehicles Tuesday.
Flanked by officials, Cantrell stood in front of one of six new electric-hybrid Sewerage and Water Board trucks, which look like standard white Ford F-150’s with the agency’s classic yellow stripe along the side.
The trucks were purchased with a mix of federal and state grant money. They are only partially electric, but Cantrell says they will get 50 percent more miles per gallon and help the city toward its goal of reducing emissions.
“It’s something that we have to remain focused on,” she says of reducing emissions. “We understand that we are a coastal city and being a coastal city we have the challenges of not only sea level rise, but also land loss.”
The city’s stated goals in its official 2017 climate action plan are to reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2030. According to that plan the city is a bigger polluter than Los Angeles.
The majority of emissions come from water and wastewater treatment, not vehicles. The emission reductions from switching six out of about 100 Sewerage and Water Board pickup trucks to being partially electric are negligible, but officials say it’s part of a bigger effort that includes things like reducing vehicle idling time.
Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and local listeners.