Harkins, Merski: Over $3.1 million secured to electrify Erie’s fleet of refuse collection trucks

ERIE, Jan. 10 – A $3.12 million grant will give a jolt of electricity to Erie by replacing a large swath of the city’s refuse collection trucks with electrically powered vehicles, announced state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie.


The lawmakers said the grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Medium and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Fleet Pilot Grant Program will help offset the cost of replacing five of the city’s existing trucks with modern, efficient battery-powered electric trucks.

“The importance of receiving this multimillion-dollar grant is twofold in that it modernizes critical public services while lessening the burden on taxpayers,” said Harkins. “Making the switch to electric trucks will save money on expensive repairs, vehicle maintenance and fuel costs. The switch to electric vehicles should be met with enthusiasm as they will play a key role in Erie’s success story.”

Merski said: Electric vehicles are the way of the future, and Erie taking the initiative to be a step ahead demonstrates our ability to adapt to an ever-changing world. In addition to the benefits of less noise, pollution, and carbon emissions, this $3 million investment in the city’s refuse fleet doesn’t have to come out of local property taxes. This is a win-win for every Erie resident.”

This Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicle Fleet Pilot Grant Program will build on the success of Driving PA Forward by focusing on funding replacements of diesel-powered, Class 4 to 8, on-road fleet vehicles with zero-emission fleet vehicles. In addition to the nitrogen oxides reduction goals of previous Driving PA Forward funding programs, the fundamental objective of this program is to demonstrate and verify MHD-ZEV’s performance in real-world fleet applications. By demonstrating the benefits of owning and operating MHD-ZEVs, this program will provide valuable insight to fleet owners/operators in Pennsylvania who may be considering ZEV replacements in their own fleets.