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Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach Commit $25 Million to EV Truck Chargers

Posted on July 10, 2024

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are pouring $25 million into new charging infrastructure for electric heavy-duty drayage trucks as California forges ahead with its long-term electric vehicle mandates.

The San Pedro Bay ports will partner with regional air quality agencies to install 207 charging units at eight sites in Southern California in a project that will cost $135 million.

Units will be installed in several California municipalities including Wilmington, Rancho Dominguez, Rialto, Fontana, and Commerce, as well as the Port of Long Beach.

The Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, a group that has invested more than $400 million in hundreds of clean transportation initiatives to reduce automotive air pollution in the region, is spearheading the project. The South Coast Air Quality Management District is administering the contracting for the project.

Following in the footsteps of a California executive order that will phase out gas-powered cars and trucks for consumers and drayage trucks by 2035, both ports have a joint goal of transitioning to an entirely emission-free truck fleet by that same year.

Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka told Sourcing Journal in May that there were 20,000 trucks registered to pick up or drop off freight at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, with roughly 9,000 of them hauling regularly or about once a week.

“We’re investing with our Clean Truck Fund to get both zero-emission (ZE) trucks and infrastructure on the street as quickly as possible,” said Seroka in a statement. “In addition to funding charging stations, we’re partnering with the state of California to offer vouchers of up to $250,000 toward the purchase of a ZE heavy-duty truck. Every day, we’re making progress toward our goal of a zero-emission port.”

The state voucher program was implemented late in 2023 and is aimed at helping truck drivers buy zero-emission vehicles. The twin ports poured a combined $60 million into the program to support the purchases of up to 800 new zero-emissions Class 8 drayage trucks operating across the gateways.

Under the Clean Truck Fund, the ports collect a $10 fee per 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) or $20 fee per 40-foot equivalent on loaded drayage trucks entering or leaving container terminals at both ports.

“The investment potential provided by the Clean Truck Fund rate is a key to our air quality efforts,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero in a statement. “These projects with our partners shows the program is working as designed, and demonstrates zero-emissions goods movement is not a buzz phrase here in San Pedro Bay but a goal we make progress toward every day.”

Both the Los Angeles Harbor Commission and the Long Beach Harbor Commission each approved allocating $12.5 million from their respective Clean Truck Funds for the plan.

Exemptions from the rate are provided for loaded containers hauled by zero-emissions trucks, and under limited circumstances, by low-nitrogen oxide trucks.

Through March 2024, the Port of Los Angeles collected about $78 million in funds from the program, while the Port of Long Beach has secured almost $75 million.

The Port of Los Angeles also recently deployed new battery-powered electric cargo top handlers in June. The handlers, which typically run on diesel fuel, are off-road vehicles with booms that can load and unload 75,000-pound containers onto trucks and trains, and then stack them in terminals. Five new electric top handlers are now being used at the port’s Yusen Terminal and can run for two full shifts before needing a five-hour charge.

Both ports have been working in tandem with Amazon to accelerate the deployment of electric heavy-duty trucks, with the e-commerce giant launching its first fleet of these vehicles designed to pick up freight at the hubs.

In May, Amazon debuted the first of 50 electric drayage trucks that will eventually be deployed to move cargo containers and packages from the ports to Amazon facilities for distribution throughout the region. A dozen are expected to be in operation by the end of 2024

Other logistics companies have put forth recent efforts to bolster electric trucking in the SoCal region and further decarbonize the supply chain.

Logistics real estate company Prologis and Maersk’s logistics services subsidiary Performance Team debuted an EV charging depot in May, located 20 miles north of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The depot can charge up to 96 EV trucks simultaneously.

The charging depot is the third Southern California-based commercial truck EV charging project Prologis Mobility and Performance Team have opened together, with locations in Santa Fe Springs and Commerce. Those stations can charge 38 electric trucks each.


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