Get ready, New York City, street food is about to step into the future and start helping the Earth.
Starting this Memorial Day weekend, a fleet of 500 eco-friendly food carts will roll out into the city as part of a new pilot program with Queens-based MOVE Systems to help vendors prepare cleaner food while reducing air pollution. The company’s sleek, stainless steel MRV100 Hybrid carts have solar panels, rechargeable batteries, plug-in hybrid technology and alternative fuel hookups, and can be built out to accommodate different types of cooking.
With nearly 8,000 food carts and trucks in New York City using highly combustible propane to fuel an estimated 1.2 million daily mobile food transactions, the city has experienced quite a few food truck and cart fires, some of which have even shut down major roads.
The environmental, health, and safety effects of these kitchens on wheels can add up to quite a bit of an impact on residents and visitors. MOVE Systems’ carts are designed to increase safety, provide clean food preparation, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food carts.
Councilman Donovan Richards, who chairs the Environmental Conservation Committee, said in a statement:
“New Yorkers encounter air pollution every day. I’m pleased that the carts being provided will reduce emissions, improve air quality and increase safety on our streets.”
Most food carts should run only a few hours off a diesel generator, but vendors operate them for long stretches of up to 14 hours, leading to a high output of greenhouse-gas emissions, such as carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide. The MRV100 Hybrid, however, is powered by a mix of battery-generated electricity and solar energy instead of gas. According to a recent Energy Vision report, which compared MOVE Systems’ new, fine-tuned MRV100 with existing food carts, each MRV100 reduces climate change gases by 60% and smog-causing NOx pollution by 95%, which is like removing nearly 200 cars from the road.
Photos courtesy of Move Systems
The average cost of a basic food cart is between $15,000 to nearly $25,000, but MOVE Systems is providing the carts at no cost to the first 500 vendors throughout NYC’s neighborhoods who sign up to switch to the new model. As part of the program, which is funded entirely through donations and private partnerships, 100 carts will be reserved for disabled veterans.
Read more Eco-Friendly features here.
Have you spotted any of the new street carts yet?