For Immediate Release: September 6, 2012
Media Contact: Adam Gottlieb - 916-654-4989
916-956-2030 mobile


Energy Commission Showcases
Electric-Powered Trucks for LA Ports

Cleaner, Zero Emission Trucks Exhibited at PortTechEXPO

SAN PEDRO - Two electric battery-powered heavy-duty trucks that will help cut pollution at busy Los Angeles County ports were unveiled today at a symposium for green transportation technologies. The ports are a major source of diesel emissions in Southern California, which has some of the worst air quality in the country.

"These trucks demonstrate the Energy Commission's serious commitment to funding innovation that can make a real difference," said Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman. "These vehicles show how clean energy can help meet challenging performance demands while reducing pollution and creating jobs."

The trucks were unveiled at the 3rd Annual PortTechEXPO, an event celebrating new technologies aiding ports in the environmental, logistics and security sectors.

One of the heavy-duty industrial trucks - a Navistar International Pro-Star on-road tractor designed to haul loads up to 80,000 pounds - was originally manufactured with a diesel engine. The truck was retrofitted with all battery-electric drive-trains powered by lithium ion batteries to run as a zero-emission vehicle. Energy Commission funding was key to the development of several advanced components needed for a functioning vehicle. The advanced components and drive-train package for the trucks were developed by TransPower. The Poway-based company received $1 million in research funding from the Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology (ARFVT) program and $500,000 from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The other heavy-duty industrial truck displayed was a Kalmar Ottawa off-road tractor that was funded by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The technology used in this truck was developed as a result of the success of the Navistar vehicle.

These trucks can help to reduce pollution at the busy ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Each truck using this new technology is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 tons annually and save as much as $50,000 a year in diesel fuel and maintenance costs. The innovative electric truck drive system can be applied to many other vehicles, such as school buses, and could potentially create as many as 1,500 high-skilled jobs in the drive system manufacturing sector in Southern California.

The ARFVT program provides approximately $100 million annually to encourage the development and use of new technologies and alternative and renewable fuels, with the goal of reducing dependence on foreign oil, improving the environment and fulfilling California's pioneering climate change policies.

The Energy Commission's investments on behalf of the public are safeguarded by adhering to paying awards on a reimbursement basis, and by requiring match funding that leverages other private and public funding, attracting additional investment in clean energy technology.

While these industrial trucks (Class 8) represent a small percentage of vehicles in California, they consume thousands of gallons of diesel fuel and emit significant amounts of toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases as they idle during daily port business. Diesel particulate is linked to an increased incidence of lung cancer and symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Using battery-powered heavy-duty trucks at these Southern California ports will lower diesel fuel consumption and pollution, helping improve air quality for the Los Angeles Basin.

These trucks will play a role in continuing the progress that has been made in creating cleaner port operations. Since 2005, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach report reducing port-related emissions by up to 75 percent for diesel particulates, and by 23 percent for greenhouse gas emissions.

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The Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.