The Port of Long Beach in California is receiving a $30.1 million grant from the US Department of Transportation to deploy the nation’s largest fleet of electric vehicles for cargo handling at a single container terminal.
The project will replace diesel-powered terminal tractors with about 60 electric-powered tractors and build the necessary charging infrastructure. Funding is coming from the 2022 Port Infrastructure Development Program, administered by the US Maritime Administration.
The Port of Long Beach adjoins the Port of Los Angeles, representing a major gateway for trade between Asia and the US. The port spans 3,200 acres of land with 25 miles of waterfront in the city of Long Beach, California and can move 3.3 million cargo container units annually. The new equipment includes charging stations with energy efficiency-enhancing software, training for operators and maintenance personnel, and installation of software equipment to streamline cargo-handling operations within the terminal.
“This project is a critical step along our path toward zero emissions, will support good-paying jobs, and reduce climate and air-quality impacts on nearby communities,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “It is everything we strive for as the nation’s most sustainable seaport – moving cargo in a way that protects the health of our residents while ensuring our operations can continue to grow and support the economy.”
The Port of Long Beach has been an early adopter when it comes to piloting electric and hydrogen-electric powered vehicles, having set a goal of all zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment by 2030 and a zero-emissions drayage truck fleet by 2035. Currently, about 17 per cent of the cargo-handling equipment at the Port is powered by electricity, which the Port claims is the largest fleet of its kind in the United States.
Most recently, Californian haulage company Tradelink Transport ordered 14 electric VNR Electric heavy-duty trucks from Volvo Trucks North America. Tradelink Transport will use the vehicles primarily to transport goods from the Californian ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to depots and rail yards in the hinterland, from where the goods will be distributed.
The port is also an important location as part of a charging corridor for electric trucks currently developing in California. In December just passed, Nikola Motors delivered the first units of its Nikola Tre battery-electric truck in the USA to logistics provider Total Transportation Services (TSSI), which serves the California Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Port of Los Angeles is also trialling fuel cell trucks and infrastructure with the deployment of five FC trucks and two hydrogen fueling stations.
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