Trucking industry officials attending the ACT Expo in Long Beach, California, this week learned that the state is awarding $23.6 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for a statewide “zero-emission” demonstration project to clean up dirty trucks that service ports and rail yards along California’s busy freight corridors.
SCAQMD is teaming up with air districts in the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego and San Joaquin Valley to deploy 43 zero-emission battery electric and plug-in hybrid drayage trucks to serve major California port areas.
The nearly $24-million check was presented to SCAQMD officials during a press conference in the exhibition hall of the Long Beach Convention Center on Wednesday.
Freight transport in California is a major economic engine for the state, but also accounts for about half of toxic diesel particulate matter, 45 percent of the emissions of that form ozone and fine particulate matter in the atmosphere, and 6 percent of all GHG emissions in California.
The grant award is part of a larger statewide investment in low-carbon transportation projects that state officials say are vital to meet California’s ambitious goals to reduce GHG emissions, improve air quality, deploy zero-emission vehicles and reduce petroleum dependency by accelerating the development and use of advanced vehicle technologies.
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.
“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 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 this week.