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Stäubli and partners complete North America’s first mechanized large-scale port EV charging program

Stäubli Electrical Connectors, a leading global manufacturer of electrical connector solutions, has completed its agreement with SSA Terminals, LLC, a joint venture with Matson Navigation Company, to provide EV automated charging connections for 33 terminal tractors at the Port of Long Beach, California. (Earlier post.)



Stäubli’s QCC Automated Connection Device (ACD) enables high power transmission for various fast recharging energy storage devices such as Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors.

This project is one of the biggest mechanized charging programs for electric vehicles at active ports in the United States. SSA Terminals and Stäubli are also currently implementing five additional units with QCCs at the Port of Oakland.

The project with SSA Terminals is part of a $50-million Port of Long Beach grant obtained from the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Zero and Near Zero Emission Freight Facility (ZANZEFF) program. ZANZEFF funds transformative emissions reduction strategies at freight facilities throughout the state and is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

For this project, 33 tractors designed to transport shipping containers around the terminal were built with an EV powertrain. SSA Terminals, which manages the port terminal, chose Australian firm Tritium to install 175kW DC High Power Chargers to power the tractors and Stäubli to install its QCC solution for automated, rapid charging.



Stäubli’s QCC system uses an enclosed pin-and-socket design that is self-cleaning, touch-protected on both sides of the connector and easily corrects for misalignment. At the Port of Long Beach, the 33 QCC systems automatically connect Tritium’s chargers to an electric receptacle on the roof of each terminal tractor, creating a safe, efficient, charging system.

Highlights of this technology include:

  • Zero-touch operation: All tractors can be charged simultaneously with no manual intervention. Operators simply pull into a charging station and the QCC deploys to plug in the tractors during breaks or shift changes for maximum charging uptime, and labor utilization.

  • Environmentally hardened: Each QCC is power-rated in excess of one megawatt and features UL-rated components that withstand contaminants that typically foul port equipment including salt air, high humidity, and airborne rust and rubber.

  • Low/no maintenance: The QCC system is rated up to 100,000 mating/plug-in cycles and requires little to no maintenance for an expected 20 to 30-year service life.

  • Cleaner air quality: This project contributes to meeting the emission reduction strategies of the joint Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles Clean Air Action Plan, which has a goal to achieve 100 percent zero-emission terminal operations by 2030.


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