CALSTART Among $8 Million Grand Prize Winners in NYSERDA’s Clean Transportation Prizes Program for Freight Electrification Vision

FEaST aims to put truck electrification within reach for mass-market fleets by piloting innovative “as-a-service” business models that require no capital outlay for fleets and by preparing the NYC-area workforce to keep electric trucks operating as reliably as conventional-fuel trucks.


QUEENS, NY – CALSTART, a global non-profit focused on clean energy and transportation, has been selected as one of three Grand Prize winners in the Electric Truck & Bus Challenge as part of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program, sponsored by NYSERDA, for its Freight Electrification-as-a-Service for Transformation (FEaST) proposal. After reviewing more than 90 initial submissions and five finalist submissions in the Electric Truck & Bus Challenge, NYSERDA announced CALSTART as an awardee at a public Clean Transportation Prizes Showcase event at the TWA Hotel in Queens, NY on November 16, 2022.

One reason truck fleets have been slow to transition away from diesel-fueled vehicles is the upfront cost associated with electrification. FEaST will spread out the cost of electrification for fleets to achieve an affordable way of electrifying truck fleets in cities. Additionally, FEaST will establish a first-of-its-kind workforce partnership that includes paid training for the next generation of electric truck and charger technicians. By packaging together vehicles, charging infrastructure, utility interconnection, energy management and maintenance, this initiative offers fleets a bundled opportunity to embrace electric trucks and unlock adoption at a scale that is needed to delink the freight transportation industry from the worsening of health and environmental effects on vulnerable New York communities.

FEaST will result in:

  • The deployment of 14 electric trucks,
  • Reduction of >500 tons of annual CO2 emissions, equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from driving >100 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles each year
  • Paid job training for at least 440 individuals, and
  • Facilitated green job placements for at least 250 trainees.

“This award will help to advance electrification of heavy-duty vehicles, reduce air pollution in disadvantaged communities, and expand economic opportunity throughout New York State. We are honored to be one of the Grand Prize awardees in collaboration with our team of stellar partners and look forward to transforming New York’s trucks market in partnership with NYSERDA,” said Ben Mandel, Senior Director for the Northeast Region at CALSTART and program lead for FEaST.

Adam Ruder, Assistant Director of Clean Transportation said, “NYSERDA is proud to support the FEaST project led by CALSTART to lower the costs of vehicle electrification and develop essential workforce training for technicians that can service all electric trucks and larger vehicles. Together with the team’s partners we will build a strong model that shows how the marketplace can use clean vehicles to deliver goods and services, lowering air pollution and reliance on fossil fuels to create healthier communities.”

FEaST will include ten class 8 electric trucks deployed by Anheuser-Busch from its Hunts Point depot in the Bronx, NY, with trucks and chargers financed by Zeem Solutions. Additionally, FEaST also features four class 8 Freightliner eCascadia trucks leased by Daimler Trucks Financial Services to NFI Industries for its operations in lower New York from its distribution center in Wurtsboro, NY. Daimler will finance the trucks and Ideanomics will provide Charging-as-a-Service, inclusive of charger financing, installation, and energy management to offer a new, fully turnkey lease product for truck electrification. The Daimler/NFI truck deployment will also employ a novel First Loss Protection product to guarantee the residual value of the electric trucks and make financing more affordable. Both deployments will be supported with a “reliability-as-a-service” package offered by ChargerHelp to ensure that depot fast chargers stay online and keep the trucks on the road close to 100% of the time. 

“We are proud to continue our commitment to sustainable logistics through our partnership with CALSTART and Zeem Solutions in New York,” said Virginia Covo, Senior Director, Sustainability at Anheuser-Busch. “By deploying electric trucks from our Bronx location, we are paving the way to our ambition to achieve net zero by 2040, delivering our products with the lowest possible carbon footprint across the country.”

“NFI is excited to launch our first zero-emission truck deployment on the East Coast with the FEaST project, adding to our portfolio of zero-emission vehicles,” said Jim O’Leary, VP of Fleet Services at NFI. “We proactively seek out transformative partnerships to develop customer-focused, scalable sustainability solutions. By electrifying deliveries across the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City, we have the unique opportunity to offer proof of concept for this innovative as-a-Service model, setting the blueprint for allowing more fleets to join the electrification transformation.”

In addition, FEaST will offer paid training and job placement assistance for up to 440 individuals to become technicians for electric trucks and chargers. The Consortium for Worker Education will administer the truck technician training program in conjunction with Bronx Community College; BlocPower will administer the EV charger technician training program in conjunction with ChargerHelp.

CALSTART will also collaborate with partners including Green City Force, Empire Clean Cities, and the Trucking Association of New York to ensure that the approach and findings from FEaST are shared with relevant audiences, including small truck fleets, prospective trainees, and e-mobility employers, to maximize replication potential of FEaST’s innovative financing and workforce solutions.

“Green City Force’s mission is to train young leaders to power a green and inclusive economy through service. In partnership with various stakeholders, we are working towards a “green city” rooted in social, economic, and environmental justice. As a member of the FEaST team, we are excited to play a key role with the Green Ribbon panel ensuring that the community is intentionally positioned to drive long-term economic opportunities and environmental and social benefits from the start,” states Tonya Gayle, Executive Director Green City Force.

CALSTART is on the awardee team for two of the three Grand Prizes announced today in the Electric Truck & Bus Challenge. In addition to winning a Grand Prize award for FEaST, CALSTART is also a major partner on another Grand Prize awarded to New York City School Bus Umbrella Services, Inc. for its Electrifying School Buses in the Bronx and Beyond (ESB3) project. For more information on the ESB3 program, visit

New York Clean Transportation Prizes

New York Clean Transportation Prizes are administered by the Innovation Team at NYSERDA in partnership with the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), collectively “The Prize Team.” The program is part of an $85 million commitment through New York’s Make Ready program to accelerate the transition to a clean transportation future.

About Electric Truck & Bus Challenge

As part of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes, Electric Truck & Bus Challenge seeks replicable solutions that identify and demonstrate ways to deploy medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs) in New York State while supporting cost reduction and improved infrastructure for EVs, reducing air pollution and carbon emissions, and addressing systemic challenges to expanded electric fleet adoption. The Electric Truck & Bus Challenge will award up to $24 million in prizes to scalable solutions that advance the deployment of electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.


A global nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado, California, Washington, D.C., central Europe and partners world-wide, CALSTART works with 300+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient and clean high-tech transportation industry. We knock down barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.