Dollaride’s Clean Transit Access Program Wins $10 Million Clean Neighborhoods Challenge to Bring Electric Transit to NYC’s Underserved Communities

November 17, 2022
The Commons in Ithaca, NY

Coalition of Minority, Veteran, and Women-Founded Climate Tech Companies to Launch World’s First All-Electric Dollar Van Network

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Dollaride is pleased to announce the award of $10 million for their Clean Transit Access Program (CTAP) to bring electric transportation services to underserved communities in New York City. As part of the $85 million New York Clean Transportation Prizes program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), CTAP brings together a coalition of NYC-based companies, including Dollaride, BlocPower, HEVO, and Build Edison, who will collaborate to create an innovative model for clean mobility that will benefit NYC and other urban transit deserts.

“Having founded our company with the goal of scaling innovative energy solutions, it is so exciting to be part of this team of NYC-based entrepreneurs to develop an impactful community solution in our own backyard. We hope to expand this model to other cities as well.

Despite NYC’s vast public transit network, more than two (2) million daily commuters in NYC’s outer boroughs live in “transit deserts,” limiting those communities from economic and cultural opportunities granted to most New Yorkers. Over 120,000 daily commuters, which would fill approximately 1,600 MTA buses, rely on a network of “dollar vans” to connect them to public transit hubs within the city. Replacing those gas-powered vehicles is exceedingly difficult for fleet owners, given capital and credit barriers. The $10 million New York Clean Transportation Prize program award, leveraged with financing from BlocPower, will allow CTAP to fund the electrification of these fleets, including the charging infrastructure from HEVO, ensuring that these communities participate in the transition to clean transportation.

Beyond electrifying the fleets, CTAP will provide several benefits to the dollar van industry and the communities that it serves, including (1) developing new routes to increase accessibility for commuters, (2) training, licensing, and insuring dollar van drivers and their new vehicles, (3) establishing wireless charging infrastructure at highly trafficked retail locations that seamlessly charge wireless-enabled fleets at night and simultaneously offer plugin charging infrastructure to local communities during the day, (4) generating charging revenue that will be equitably distributed among CTAP and community partners, and (5) reducing existing gas and maintenance costs.

The first electric fleets and EV charging stations are planned for delivery to Brooklyn and Queens in late 2023. The program will then expand to other NYC transit deserts in 2024 and 2025, with a long-term goal of expanding this highly scalable model of clean mobility to other cities in New York State and around the world.

“CTAP marks one of NYC’s boldest climate tech innovations to date, including the world’s first all-electric dollar van network, the world’s largest deployment of wireless electric vehicle chargers to date, and the first financing program for transport electrification in underserved communities. This dynamic partnership between Dollaride, BlocPower, HEVO, and Build Edison – each of which is a minority, veteran, or woman-founded company – showcases the power of diversity and the NYC innovation ecosystem. CTAP is grateful to the leaders in city and state government that have enabled this partnership ” said Su Sanni, Founder and CEO, Dollaride.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said “NYSERDA is thrilled to support the CTAP program to eliminate the transportation barriers faced by New Yorkers every day. Clean transportation should be available to all, and the innovative founders of these four companies are coming together with us to show the world that New York State is accelerating our transition to a greener, more equitable future while investing in underserved communities to reduce the impact of pollution-driving emissions that cause climate change.”

“Part of our mission is to make clean transportation universally accessible. By providing seamless wireless charging for CTAP drivers, we ensure a full charge every morning and simultaneously serve the community during the day with plugin charging using our hybrid wireless and plugin infrastructure,” said Jeremy McCool, Founder and CEO, HEVO.

“I grew up using dollar vans and cabs, and still use them when I visit family in Brooklyn. BlocPower is proud to deploy our decarbonization experience and financing services for the world's first all-electric dollar van fleet. This project shows once again that the most innovative ideas to curb climate change start in the communities most impacted by the crisis," said Donnel Baird, Founder and CEO of BlocPower.

"Having founded our company with the goal of scaling innovative energy solutions, it is so exciting to be part of this team of NYC-based entrepreneurs to develop an impactful community solution in our own backyard. We hope to expand this model to other cities as well," said Kristin Barbato, Founder and CEO, Build Edison.

About Dollaride
Dollaride optimizes existing dollar van networks and enables drivers and riders to connect and transact via smartphones.

About BlocPower
BlocPower is a climate tech company utilizing proprietary software for analysis, financing and project managing decarbonization projects. The company is backed by investors including Goldman Sachs.

About HEVO
HEVO provides safe, simple, and seamless wireless charging equipment and software that dramatically improves the EV charging experience.

About Build Edison
Build Edison, a certified WBE firm, works with startups, utilities, governments, and corporations to create programs and to scale pilot projects for innovative energy solutions for the energy transition.