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Six trucking firms deploy ultra clean near-zero RNG trucks at Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles

Six trucking firms operating in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are deploying trucks powered by Cummins Westport (CWI) near-zero ISX12N engines (earlier post), and fueled with Clean Energy Fuels Corp.’s Redeem brand renewable natural gas (RNG) in an effort to reduce emissions and improve air quality in the ports and surrounding communities.


The project’s goal is to introduce this ultra clean technology, which is 90% to 99% cleaner than existing port trucks, to the port drayage industry. This project aims to inspire greater interest in near-zero RNG trucks, particularly with the incentive funding that California is providing to help truckers transition to this clean technology. Near-zero trucks are also one of the strategies for reducing emissions from trucks under the ports’ recent update to their Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP).

The realization by trucking companies that they need to do something to meet the upcoming and anticipated stricter emissions requirements in California is beginning to settle in. Fortunately, there are many ways to take advantage of grants and other resources to make the transition to the new engine technology and clean RNG virtually painless.

—Greg Roche, Clean Energy’s vice president of sustainable trucking

The California Energy Commission and the South Coast Air Quality Management District provided funding for 20 near-zero Class 8 trucks. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach provided funding for two additional near-zero trucks. The first four near-zero trucks have been successfully operating since mid-2017 and an additional four have been operating since February 2018.

Project participants include Total Transportation Services, Inc. (TTSI), 4Gen Logistics, Orange Avenue Express, CR&R, and Pacific 9 Transportation.

The ultra clean CWI engines achieve the lowest emissions of any heavy-duty engine used in any truck in North America, yet deliver diesel caliber performance with reliability and durability.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) certified these engines in December 2017 at CARB’s optional low-NOx standard of 0.02 g-NOx/bhp-hr—90% lower NOx emissions than the current EPA NOx standard. The new engines were tested as low as 0.01 g-NOx/bhp-hr, achieving virtually zero tailpipe emissions. Factory production of ISX12N engines began in February.

All these trucks will be fueling at Clean Energy’s network of California stations with Redeem fuel, which reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 70% versus diesel. RNG is the cleanest fuel for trucking today, with some GHG sources even reducing GHG by over 100%.

Pacific 9 Transportation will soon deploy 20 other RNG-powered trucks in addition to their grant-funded ultra low-NOx trucks.

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach enacted the latest version of their CAAP in November 2017, which adopts far reaching strategies to further reduce air emissions and support California’s vision for more sustainable freight movement. Part of the CAAP could significantly change the makeup of the 16,000 heavy-duty trucks that move in and out of the ports. The CAAP envisions transitioning the current fleet of port trucks to clean trucks through a new set of provisions that will begin to be implemented this year.



The cleanup and transport required for "RNG" (most likely landfill gas) at the port makes it a loser energy-wise compared to using said gas to replace natural gas near the source.  Generating electric power at the landfill, then wheeling the power to the port to run electric drayage trucks, probably beats the RNG trucks for efficiency and certainly whips them for noise and emissions.


This is a transition on the way to EV trucks, if it is the best we can do for now then it is something. The all or nothing at all crowd will never learn that.


It's got nothing to do with electric trucks.  Per this GCC post last month electric drayage trucks ALREADY appear to be in use at the Port of Los Angeles.

If you've already got something besides the internal combustion engine, buying more internal combustion engines isn't part of moving away from them.


Engineer-Poet. You are wrong. The majority of RNG generated in CA is not landfill gas but anaerobic digestion gas. And CARB has certified many of the processes as being carbon negative. Yes, you heard me right, carbon negative meaning it out-performs your sacred EV's hands down. In fact, RNG is the only vehicle fuel that can act as a carbon sink, and it does it without relying on child labor dependent cobalt battery material and rare earth battery issues. So lets focus on the science and fact. RNG is here now and doesn't need any economic or supply chain or technology break-throughs to be able to deliver cost-effect clean air. In fact, LA Metro documented that on a dollar per ton or dollar per pound basis, no other fuel choice is as cost effective for reducing CO2 or Nox. Period.

As long as humans produce organic waste (food waste, sewage, etc) RNG will be an important and necessary part of our energy future. And using it as a vehicle fuel is the highest value use and avoids the cobalt, rare earth and other battery issues (like range, weight, cost).

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