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GSC Logistics first to haul commercial cargo with a BYD electric semi through Altamont Pass

On 22 October 2019, GSC Logistics was the first to haul a commercial cargo using an electric semi through the Altamont Pass, with their BYD 8TT heavy-duty electric truck. The Altamont Pass is a low mountain pass (1,009 feet or 308 meters) in the Diablo Range of Northern California between Livermore in the Livermore Valley and Tracy in the San Joaquin Valley. It is traversed by I-580.

The 8TT delivers 483 hp and 1,770 lb-ft of torque, powered by a 409 kWh battery pack.

The Class 8 BYD 8TT delivered its zero-emission cargo from Port of Oakland to Tracy, CA. It then picked up a return load back to the Port. The truck easily maintained 55 mph up the 8% grade through the Altamont Pass. Upon its return to Port of Oakland, the truck’s battery still had about 40% State of Charge (SOC)—plenty of reserve for additional operation throughout the remainder of the workday.

As the largest motor carrier at the port, GSC hauls about 120,000 containers of cargo across Northern California and Nevada annually. It manage 200 owner-operated trucks each day and currently operates five company trucks, including three BYD 8TT electric trucks that were grant-funded by CARB.

By utilizing battery-electric trucks, companies such as GSC can lower their operating costs while significantly improving air quality through the elimination of pollution caused by diesel trucks.

In addition to the cost, environmental and health benefits that come from converting to clean battery-electric technology, there are a number of other benefits for their drivers, including clean, quiet and smooth operation.

This is a major milestone in electric trucking. We’ve now proven that BYD electric trucks are ready for the next phase of hauling cargo greater distances with true zero-emissions.

—John Gerra, BYD Motors Director of Business Development



The pass has lots of wind turbines dating back to the 70s.


Another hand to California and BYD to effectively replace polluting diesel trucks with clean running electric units. BYD is way ahead with mass production of affordable very productive electric buses and heavy trucks.

Kevin Cameron

Is this really the first time?

Tesla has hauled many battery packs from the Gigafactory to the Fremont plant with their electric semi truck. It seems like that would be the first commercial EV trucking use over the Altamont Pass.


Actually the Tesla Semi went over Donner Pass.
From ARS Technica 3/9/2018:
"Laden with heavy batteries, the trucks will make their way from 4,400ft in altitude at Sparks to 7,200ft at the place where I-80 crosses Donner Summit, before the trucks ride the route down to sea level. On the return trip, when the electric trucks have to gain 7,200 ft in altitude, they'll be empty and lighter."
The Tesla Semi was spotted recharging in Rocklin, CA (outside of Sacramento) midway between the Giga Factory in Sparks, NV and the Tesla Factory in Fremont, CA.

Kevin Cameron

Good point. The Tesla Semi had to traverse both Donner and Altamont passes. As you say, Donner Pass is a challenge for trucks; considerably more so than Altamont.


The 680 allows them to go from the 80 to Fremont
without going through Altamont.

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