The ice cream truck business is set to become a whole lot more expensive with a new proposal from the New York City Council that would require truck owners to switch to climate-friendly power sources over the next three years.
The proposal, introduced by Brooklyn Councilman Lincoln Restler last week, would require ice cream truck owners to use solar-powered or electric-powered machines, which could cost companies thousands of dollars.
Ed Lachterman, who owns Ice Cream Emergency and spoke out against the proposal from his truck parked at Fox Square, believes the proposed policy would have a devastating impact on the economy and other small business owners alike.
“You’re there to help your constituents and to say, ‘Oh, well, we’re going to just start banning things.’ All they’re going to do is put people out of work, make the economy worse, and just really destroy everything that we’re trying to build up,” said Lachterman.
Lachterman and his wife Carol also argue that the proposal is ridiculous, saying that solar power wouldn’t be reliable in a town as big and busy as New York City.
“You can’t even have solar in a home if you have trees that are too tall. How are you going to drive around the city and have a solar-powered truck in the concrete jungle?” Lachterman asked.
Carol added that the couple “would probably have to raise [their] prices” if the proposed policy is passed.
The proposed policy comes after New York became the first state to ban natural gas connections in new buildings. Beginning in 2026, new buildings with seven or fewer stories will have to use induction and electric devices, and larger buildings will make the transition in 2029.
Critics of the proposal say that it is the latest in a line of new regulations that are making it harder for New York City’s small business owners to operate.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently drafted new rules that would require pizzerias to install filters and have emissions regularly inspected to reduce carbon emissions from coal and wood fire ovens by 75%.
“They’re trying to go after your gasoline water heaters, your gas stoves. The sad thing is it’s an attack on the hospitality industry, which is one of the biggest employers in New York City,” said Lachterman.
New York City Council is expected to reveal more details on the proposal in the coming weeks, and a vote is expected to take place soon.
For now, Lachterman and other ice cream truck owners are hoping that New York City will reconsider the proposal, which they believe would spell disaster for the industry.
“New York is not going to have to worry about businesses because everyone’s going to move out. You can’t operate under these conditions,” said Lachterman.