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Zero Emission Technologies


Although significant emissions reductions have been achieved under the 2006 San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, together known as the San Pedro Bay Ports, continue to place great emphasis on green development, including zero emission technologies. Zero emission technologies not only assist the ports in achieving their goals, but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease America's dependence on foreign oil.

In order for zero-emission technology to be considered by the Port of Los Angeles, it must have the potential to be successfully implemented, to increase efficiency, and to reduce Port-related air emissions as described in the Zero-Emissions Roadmap (see below). Also, to ensure the priority of zero-emission technologies within the Port, a Zero-Emission Truck Collaborative (see below) has been established.

Zero Emissions Roadmap

The Zero Emissions Roadmap, implemented in 2011 by the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, demonstrates the commitment of the San Pedro Bay Ports to achieve zero emissions goods movement. The roadmap does not suggest a single solution to reduce emissions, but rather a suite of strategies that together have the potential to dramatically improve air quality in local communities and throughout the region. The effort to achieve zero emissions goods movement will require technological innovation, multiple approaches, and regional partnerships. To view the Zero Emissions Roadmap, including technical reports, Click Here.

Zero Emissions Truck Collaborative

The County-wide Zero Emission Truck Collaborative was formed in response to the Zero Emissions Roadmap. The members of the regional group are the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) as the lead, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), Gateway Cities, and Caltrans. Its purpose is to ensure that zero emission technologies remain a priority for the region in meeting air quality goals, and that the zero emission technology policies of each agency align. The Collaborative also functions as a mechanism to unify the agencies in attempts to secure funding and spur policy changes at the state or national level.

Types of Zero Emissions Technologies

The highlighted projects below describe the zero emission technologies that are currently being utilized, that have already been developed and are being tested and evaluated by the Port, or are in the process of being developed.

Heavy-Duty Vehicles (On Road)

  • On-Road Truck (Balqon Plug-in)
    The world's first plug-in battery-electric Class 8 truck was built in 2008 by Balqon Corporation as a demonstration project co-funded by the Port of Los Angeles and the SCAQMD. The original truck was powered by lead-acid batteries; however, with significant advances in battery technologies, the new version of the truck, Model XE-30, now operates on lithium-ion batteries, which have better performance and higher energy density. The increased energy density and operational efficiencies are expected to result in an approximate 100-mile range when fully loaded. In 2012, Balqon completed a preliminary demonstration which included several round-trips from a near-dock railyard to Port terminals. The Port and Balqon are currently working with a local drayage operator to test the truck under actual land-bridge operations for an entire year.


  • On-Road Truck (Hydrogen Fuel Cell)
    Through the Technology Advancement Program, the Port of Los Angeles has partnered with the Port of Long Beach and Vision Industries to fund the development and testing of a hydrogen fuel cell powered Class 8 truck. The truck, the Tyranno, is powered by a lithium-ion battery that is charged on-board by a hydrogen fuel cell generator. The truck was deployed in mid-2012 and achieved 200 miles on a single tank of hydrogen. A demonstration of an extended range of 400 miles is planned.


  • On-Road Truck (Transpower Plug-in)
    Electric Truck Manufacturer TransPower will test seven zero emission trucks at the Port. These trucks will demonstrate their ElecTruck drive system, which integrates an on-board battery charger into the battery management system, and power inverters, eliminating the need for an external stand-alone battery charger. The drive system is expected to provide 100 to 150 miles of range under normal operating conditions. All seven trucks are scheduled to be assembled and deployed by Spring 2014. Soon after, a 12 month demonstration period will be carried out by Port drayage truck operators.


  • On-Road Truck (U.S. Hybrid Plug-in)
    Electric Truck Manufacturer, U.S. Hybrid, will develop and demonstrate two battery-electric trucks at the Port using the International Transtar 8600 Class 8 truck platform. The trucks will be equipped with a 300 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack to provide an estimated 100 mile all-electric operating range under fully loaded conditions.


  • U.S. Department of Energy Grant
    The United States Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the SCAQMD with a$4.1M grant in 2012.
  • The $4.1M grant is being used to fund 13 zero emission truck projects from four vendors: Balqon (3), Transpower (4), U.S. Hybrid (2), and Vision (4). The funding requires a 50% contribution from vendors. Though details vary by subcontract, vendors generally have up to 1 year to produce the trucks and a 2 year testing period.

Planned Zero Emission Truck Development (Summary)

Type of System
Lithium-Ion Battery
Hybrid Hydrogen Fuel Cell/Lithium-Ion Battery
Lithium-Ion Battery
U.S. Hybrid
Lithium-Ion Battery
International Rectifier
Hybrid Battery Electric/Diesel Engine


Cargo Handling Equipment (Off Road)

  • Yard Tractor (Balqon Plug-in)
    In addition to the XE-30 On-Road Truck, Balqon Corporation also developed a plug-in battery-electric yard tractor. Just like the XE-30, the latest version of the yard tractor, Model XE-20, operates on lithium-ion batteries. Units have been tested at the California Cartage Intermodal Facility at the Port and have been able to achieve over 12 hours of operation on a single charge. The Port of Los Angeles is now beginning to test six units at the APMT and Evergreen Marine Terminals.

  • Yard Tractor (Transpower Plug-in)
    In March 2013, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were selected by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to receive grant funding for the development and demonstration of two electric yard tractors to be developed by Transpower and demonstrated at APL terminals. The grant award is for a two-year project with an expected completion date of May 2015.

  • Electric Rubber Tire Gantry Cranes (ERTG)
    A standard rubber tire gantry crane runs on diesel fuel and is used for stacking intermodal containers within the stacking areas of a container terminal. An electric RTG (ERTG runs on electric power rather than diesel fuel, which completely eliminates localized air emissions and petroleum use. Several terminals at the Port have plans to turn over their fleet of rubber tire gantry cranes to ERTGs. Currently, ERTGs are being utilized at APMT and the West Basin Container Terminal.

  • Ship-to-Shore Cranes
    Ship-to-shore cranes are a type of large stationary dockside gantry cranes found at container terminals for loading and unloading intermodal containers from container ships of various sizes. At the Port of Los Angeles, there are currently 75 ship to shore cranes servicing these container vessels. All of the ship-to-shore cranes at the port are powered by electricity provided from the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.


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