An initiative of the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan, the development and demonstration of the Balqon electric truck was co-funded by the Port and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) at a total cost of $527,000.
Designed specifically for drayage operations, this heavy-duty truck can pull a 60,000 lb cargo container at a top speed of 40 mph, and has a range of 30–60 miles per battery charge. The battery charger can charge up to four electric trucks simultaneously in four hours and can also provide up to 60% of the charge in one hour to meet peak demands during daily operations.
The trucks will be deployed as a zero emissions alternative to fossil fuel-powered yard tractors. Currently, fleets of thousands of hostlers – mostly diesel vehicles, with a small number of LNG test units — move thousands of containers a day between the Port’s docks and terminal backland. They could eventually be replaced by electric vehicles.