State to award $23.6 million for zero-emission trucks at seaports

Cleaner air for port-adjacent, disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles, San Joaquin Valley, Oakland, San Diego and West Sacramento

SACRAMENTO – The State of California is awarding $23.6 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for a statewide zero-emission drayage truck development and demonstration project. The funds, from the California Climate Investments program, will reduce key criteria pollutants, greenhouse gases (GHG), petroleum usage and toxic pollution where reductions are needed most. They are also designed to accelerate the commercialization of heavy-duty advanced, zero-emission technologies, establishing a path for implementing SCAQMD’s clean air plan currently under development.

The South Coast air district is teaming up with air districts in the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego and San Joaquin Valley to make the project a statewide demonstration of 43 zero-emission battery electric and plug-in hybrid drayage trucks serving major California ports. Demonstration trucks and charging infrastructure will be used in all five air districts, providing emission reduction benefits in key areas of California with drayage truck activity.

“This project will help put the very cleanest short-haul trucks to work where they are needed most, moving cargo from the state’s biggest ports to distribution centers and rail yards,” said ARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “This is good news – and cleaner air – for all Californians, but especially those who live in neighborhoods next to these industrial facilities or along some of our state’s busiest trade corridors.”

“This unique collaborative effort will accelerate the commercialization of advanced zero-emission truck technologies that are vital to improving air quality in communities near our busy freight corridors,” said Joe Buscaino, Los Angeles City Councilman and SCAQMD Board Member. “Cleaner truck fleets on our roadways are important for air quality and climate goals, and essential to protecting public health.”

This is the first large-scale demonstration of zero-emission Class 8 trucks that involves major manufacturers, including BYD, Kenworth, Peterbilt and Volvo. The companies receiving funds have the engineering resources, manufacturing capabilities and distribution networks to support commercialization of advanced technologies related to moving freight to and from the ports.

“BYD is proud to work with the California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District and our fleet partners to advance clean, battery-electric transportation solutions in communities where it is needed most,” said Stella Li, president of BYD Motors. “BYD is a worldwide leader in battery technology and as the OEM providing the most battery-electric trucks under this solicitation, I believe other fleets will take notice and recognize that battery-powered drayage trucks are reliable and available for wider deployment today. We look forward to celebrating the delivery of our first battery-electric drayage truck in the fall of this year.”

“Kenworth is pleased to partner with SCAQMD in the development of commercial vehicle technologies that help to reduce emissions,” Kenworth Truck Company Research & Development Manager Brian Lindgren said. “As a division of PACCAR Inc., environmental leadership is one of our core values: reducing the environmental impact of our activities and our products is an integral part of our corporate strategy. We look forward to working with SCAQMD to develop these zero-emission and zero-emission-capable drayage tractors, and if successful, to broaden the availability of these technologies to more of our customers.”

“Peterbilt is excited to participate in the grant program and looks forward to working with the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to evaluate commercial trucks with zero-emission capabilities,” said Andy Weiblen, Peterbilt Director of Product Planning. “Peterbilt welcomes the opportunity to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to developing advanced, environmentally friendly technologies and products, as well as sustaining green initiatives throughout all of our operations and facilities.”

“Volvo Group is pleased to partner with SCAQMD and receive funding from CARB to further investigate technologies that offer significant emissions reductions while increasing fuel efficiency for customers,” said Susan Alt, senior vice president of public affairs, Volvo Group North America. “The Zero Emission Drayage Truck Demonstration Project will build upon the integrated technologies approach that Volvo Group has been promoting, including further development of intelligent transportation systems solutions.”

The grant award is part of a larger statewide investment in low-carbon transportation projects that are pivotal to meeting California’s ambitious goals to reduce GHG emissions, improve air quality, deploy zero-emission vehicles and reduce petroleum dependency by accelerating the development and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies. This project is part of the California Climate Investments, which use proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing a variety of additional benefits to California communities. The project also supports the Governor’s Executive Order (B-32-15) to ensure the state “transition to zero-emission technologies.” The California Sustainable Freight Action Plan to support that transition was made public Tuesday.

Freight transport in California is a major economic engine for the state but also accounts for about half of toxic diesel particulate matter (PM 2.5), 45 percent of the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) that form ozone and fine particulate matter in the atmosphere, and 6 percent of all GHG emissions in California.

The SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.