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California to award $9M for 27 BYD zero-emission trucks at two rail yards, one freight transfer yard in Southern California

The State of California is awarding $9 million to the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) for 27 zero-emission trucks to replace diesel-powered heavy-duty tractors used in rail yards and large-scale freight distribution centers. The funds come from the California Climate Investments (CCI) program and are designed to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), while also reducing petroleum usage and improving air quality in residential communities.

The two types of trucks funded by this grant are the most common at every major freight location in the US, providing a model for truck electrification that could be scaled to any facility. The project will demonstrate 23 battery-electric 80,000-pound (GVWR) Class 8 yard trucks, also known as “yard goats,” which are used to move heavy freight containers short distances within freight yards, warehouses, distribution centers and port terminals.

The project also demonstrates four 16,100-pound (GVWR) Class 5 medium-duty service trucks. BNSF Railway will operate the trucks at two of its intermodal rail yards in the cities of San Bernardino and Commerce; Daylight Transport will also operate the trucks at its new truck freight transfer facility in Fontana.

The fully electric trucks will be designed and manufactured by BYD in Lancaster, California.

BYD’s class 8 heavy-duty yard truck and class 5 medium-duty service truck technology will prove that vehicle electrification is a solution that can be applied today to a variety of needs—not just passenger vehicles. BYD is proud to collaborate on this project and showcase our best-in-market electric battery technology. By deploying these trucks in 24/7 operations, this project will prove that truck electrification can be adopted at any major freight location and scaled for any facility and business need in the US.

—Stella Li, president of BYD Motors

The project, which kicked off this week, will place these electric-powered trucks in disadvantaged communities within the cities of San Bernardino, Commerce and Fontana. The goal is to develop zero-emission vehicles that could replace existing diesel trucks accelerating the commercialization of these and other examples of heavy-duty advanced, zero-emission technologies in California.

Over the two-year duration of the demonstration project, the full complement of the zero-emission trucks will result in overall reductions of 3,500 tons of carbon dioxide, 3,250 pounds of nitrogen oxide and 170 pounds of diesel soot (PM10).

The grant is part of a larger statewide investment in low-carbon transportation projects that are pivotal to meeting California’s ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and reduce petroleum dependency by accelerating the development and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies.

The project also supports the Governor’s Executive Order (B-32-15) to “upgrade freight vehicles and infrastructure” utilizing “technologies, energy sources, and fuels that enable greater transportation efficiency while reducing community and environmental impacts.” The draft California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, required under the Executive Order, was made public last month.

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