Two BYD Y electric intermodal cargo tractors were deployed at the Port of San Diego recently as part of a project funded by the California Energy Commission to accelerate the port’s transition to zero-emission transportation.
The Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) awarded nearly $6 million to the San Diego Port Tenants Association to demonstrate 10 vehicles and other sustainable freight technologies in and around the port. The ARFVTP, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, supports development and deployment of advanced transportation and fuel technologies throughout California.
Dole Fresh Fruit, Marine Group Boat Works, Pasha Automotive Group, TerminaLift, and Continental Maritime will get hands-on experience with the two BYD battery-powered electric cargo trucks. The aim is to show businesses the feasibility of using zero-emission vehicles in port operations, encouraging their adoption.
The tractors are equipped with a 217 kWh battery pack powering a 180 kW motor which delivers 1,106 lb-ft (1,500 N·m) of torque for 10+ hours of operation.
Additional vehicles funded by the Energy Commission grant will be delivered later this year. These vehicles include electric yard tractors by BYD and forklifts and semi-trucks modified with battery-electric propulsion systems by Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. and Transportation Power, Inc.
The grant also supports a demonstration of intelligent transportation systems currently under construction by Peloton Technology, LLC. Platooning technology will enable freight trucks to sync their cruise control, letting trucks follow other trucks closely enough to reduce air resistance and save on fuel. Freight signal priority technology reduces emissions by giving freight trucks priority at specialized traffic signals, helping eliminate unnecessary stops.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.