Energy Commission Supports Port of San Diego’s Transition to Sustainable Transportation

Two electric cargo vehicles were deployed at the Port of San Diego recently as part of a project funded by the California Energy Commission to accelerate the port’s transition to zero-emission transportation.

The Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) awarded nearly $6 million to the San Diego Port Tenants Association to demonstrate 10 vehicles and other sustainable freight technologies in and around the port. The ARFVTP, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, supports development and deployment of advanced transportation and fuel technologies throughout California.

“The California Energy Commission is proud to work with the San Diego Port Tenants Association and its partners to support the Port of San Diego’s transition to advanced, zero-emission transportation technology," said Energy Commissioner Janea A. Scott, who attended the demonstration’s July 26 launch. “This project will offer multiple port tenants the opportunity to see how zero-emission technology can improve the efficiency of their operations while supporting the climate goals of the state and port, and improving air quality at the port and in the surrounding community. It’s a win on multiple fronts.”

Dole Fresh Fruit, Marine Group Boat Works, Pasha Automotive Group, TerminaLift, and Continental Maritime will get hands-on experience with the two battery-powered electric cargo trucks, which BYD manufactured and assembled. The aim is to show businesses the feasibility of using zero-emission vehicles in port operations, encouraging their adoption.

Additional vehicles funded by the Energy Commission grant will be delivered later this year. These vehicles include electric yard tractors by BYD and forklifts and semi-trucks modified with battery-electric propulsion systems by Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. and Transportation Power, Inc.

The grant also supports a demonstration of intelligent transportation systems currently under construction by Peloton Technology, LLC. Platooning technology will enable freight trucks to sync their cruise control, letting trucks follow other trucks closely enough to reduce air resistance and save on fuel. Freight signal priority technology reduces emissions by giving freight trucks priority at specialized traffic signals, helping eliminate unnecessary stops.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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