Fossil-Fuel-Free: Food Trucks Go Solar
The food truck industry is good for a quick, cheap meal or even a gourmet meal, but emissions from these portable feasts are a growing concern, given the estimated 3 million trucks that were on the road in 2012. New York state has launched an initiative to put 500 energy-efficient, solar-powered carts on city streets this summer.
A pilot program gives food truck vendors the opportunity to lease the eco-carts for five years at little to no extra cost. They are expected to cut fossil fuel emissions by 60 percent and smog-creating nitrous oxide by 95 percent. If the technology was implemented nationwide, it could spare the atmosphere an enormous carbon footprint.
Conventional mobile vendors may spend more than $500 a month on fossil fuels; in addition to the gasoline consumed in driving, truck lighting and refrigeration systems are powered by diesel generators and propane fuels the grills, sometimes all running up to 10 hours a day. The annual nationwide load can add up to hundreds of billions of pounds of carbon dioxide per year.