The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved a grant of $2.4 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District to build and test seven hybrid fuel cell Class 8 trucks to transport cargo at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The goal of the project is to develop a vehicle architecture that combines existing battery-electric technology with a hydrogen fuel cell acting as a range extender to create a zero-emission drayage truck.
Short-haul drayage vehicles, which haul shipping containers in and around ports, are seen as perfect candidates for electrification. The tractors travel short distances, they idle a lot while waiting for a ship or train to be unloaded, and ports are major air polluters.
Under the terms of the CEC’s grant, the new truck will have to demonstrate that it can pull a total of 80,000 lbs GVWR; climb a 6% grade over the Vincent Thomas Bridge; travel at least 100 miles between fueling; and operate at freeway speeds.