Sustainable Food Carts in NYC


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1)      The conversion of sunlight into electricity using solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has been gradually evolving since the first solar cell was produced in the 1950’s. There are various concepts that deliver relatively high-efficiency solar modules for the market, and as the cost-per-watt of a solar panel is dropping, the evolution in photovoltaic technology is also progressing.

Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a readily available alternative gasoline that is made by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. CNG is produced both worldwide and domestically at relatively low cost and is cleaner burning than gasoline or diesel fuel.

Combine these innovations with battery storage, electric grid connection capability, a food cart and hungry customers and you have yourself the MRV100 food cart designed by MOVE Systems.

2)      Also known as “The City That Never Sleeps,” New York City is known for its many Broadway theatres, electric billboards, skyscrapers, shopping, and restaurants to name a few. In New York City, and many other areas around the world, there is a growing concern about the increase of harmful greenhouse gases (GHG). GHG are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and accompany Global Warming Potentials as well as public health hazards.

NYC has approximately 5,000 licensed food carts that provide a wide variety of food to residents and tourists every day. The issue is not the food (in most cases), it’s the portable electric generators powered by gasoline or diesel fuels to meet the energy demands of the cart. Generally speaking, these generators produce large quantities of health-threatening GHG emissions such as nitrous oxides (NOx) carbon monoxide and particulate matter.

Compared to conventional food carts, the MRV100 can significantly improve environmental and public health impacts associated with the mobile food industry in NYC and other parts of the world.

3)      Stakeholders: Vendors, Customers, Cart Owners, Sponsors, Advertisers, Local Utility, DEP, EPA

4)      The pilot program will launch this summer and 100 of the first carts will be funded by MOVE and reserved for disabled veterans according to the report. Additionally, 400 carts will be awarded to vendors that sign up for this sponsored pilot program. GPS monitoring stations will be placed in each cart to ensure business is running smoothly, and not running away.

2 thoughts on “Sustainable Food Carts in NYC

  1. The combination of technology and innovation that’s introduced in the MRV100 has the potential to change the face of food carts in NYC. While providing cleaner energy solutions, the MRV100 will also contain “small internet-enabled computers featuring GPS and a range of sensors, including for fuel pressure and food temperature.” Therefore, the MRV100 not only be better for the environment but also make food carts more compliant with health codes.


  2. I like this idea. Imminently practical, it also (unless, and I doubt it, is also noisy) reduces noise pollution in the city. I can’t wait to be on the look out for one this summer.


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