Program Goal is 1,000 Clean Trucks by End of 2009

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — May 8, 2009 — The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved up to $44.2 million in Port funding toward the 2009 Clean Truck Incentive Program at the Port of Los Angeles.   The 2009 incentives will be used to help bring trucks into service at the Port  that run on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), or lithium battery electric power.  This initiative follows a successful 2008 incentive program that put into service more than 2,200 trucks that currently meet or exceed 2007 U.S. EPA emission standards.  Since the launch of the Clean Truck Program October 1, 2008, pollution at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex has been reduced by more than 23 percent.

“Our goal is to put 1,000 alternative fuel trucks into service through our 2009 Clean Truck Incentive Program, and the funding our board just approved is a major step in that direction,” said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “Natural Gas technologies offer a variety of environmental benefits that make them a good fit for drayage in this market.   Through this program we will help truck operators purchase alternative fuel trucks and continue our aggressive efforts to reduce port truck emissions.”

The funds will be used to offer concessionaires in the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program (CTP) incentives of up to $80,000 for each LNG or CNG truck they purchase.  Port terminal operators or concessionaires can also receive up to 80 percent of negotiated cost for each electric truck they purchase for terminal or drayage truck use.   Because the Port’s 1000-truck goal for 2009 (900 LNG/CNG trucks and 100 electric trucks) will cost up to $100 million, the Port is applying for grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Air Resources Board, and the California Energy Commission.  Within the next 30 days, the Port will publish program guidelines and will begin accepting letters of intent.     

The Port of Los Angeles, also known as “America’s Port,” has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy and the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. A recipient of numerous environmental awards, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2007 Clean Air Excellence Award, the Port of Los Angeles is committed to innovating cleaner, greener ways of doing business. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. The Port of Los Angeles - A cleaner port. A brighter future.

Backgrounder:  2009 Alternative Fuel and Electric Truck Incentive Program

Project Description:  The Port of Los Angeles’ 2009 Clean Truck Incentive Program will provide incentives for truck operators to purchase Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) drayage trucks, as well as lithium battery-powered all-electric trucks for drayage or marine terminal use.

Goals:  The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved up to $44.2 million in Port funding contributions toward the goal of adding 900 LNG trucks and 100 all-electric trucks into service at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach by the end of 2009.  Beginning in 2012, the San Pedro Bay ports “clean truck” programs will ban all 2003 or older trucks from calling at port terminals as part of a major initiative to reduce port truck pollution by more than 80 percent.  In the first six months of the program that began October 1, 2008, truck pollution within the LA-Long Beach port complex has been reduced by 23 percent.

Purpose:  The program has been created to bring more alternative fuel trucks into use at the port complex that comply with 2007 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

History:  Over the past two years, the Port of Los Angeles and the South Coast Air Quality Management District have co-funded a prototype all-electric drayage truck, and the Port subsequently placed an initial order for 25 of the trucks to be manufactured at Balqon Corp. in Harbor City, Calif.  This incentive program will help introduce these trucks into marine terminal and port drayage service.  Over the past several years the Port has also provided funding mechanisms for bringing LNG- and CNG-powered trucks into port service.  Roughly 300 of those trucks are currently serving the port complex.

Funding:  The approved funds will pay incentives of up to $80,000 per truck for approximately 450 LNG/CNG trucks.  Additionally, up to 80 percent in funding will go toward the purchase of approximately 50 electric trucks.  The Port will be seeking grants from a variety of sources to fully fund the 1000-truck goal, including the California Energy Commission’s AB 118 Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, Federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), and National Clean Diesel and Emerging Technologies programs.  The Port is also in the process of applying for Department of Energy Transportation Electrification funding, and may apply for DERA funds in the 2009 Federal Omnibus Bill.

Next Steps:  Port officials will apply for grant funding and will be talking to trucking manufacturers, Clean Truck Program participants, and other stakeholders in order to refine an incentive offering that will attract additional program participants.

For More Info:     More information on the Harbor Commission-approved program is detailed at: www.portoflosangeles.org.