The State of California is awarding $23.6 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for a statewide zero-emission drayage truck development and demonstration project.
Drayage refers to trucks that haul freight over short distances.
The funds, from the California Climate Investments program, will reduce key criteria pollutants, greenhouse gases (GHG), petroleum usage and toxic pollution where reductions are needed most. They are also designed to accelerate the commercialization of heavy-duty advanced, zero-emission technologies, establishing a path for implementing SCAQMD’s clean air plan currently under development.
The South Coast air district is teaming up with air districts in the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego and San Joaquin Valley to make the project a statewide demonstration of 43 zero-emission battery electric and plug-in hybrid drayage trucks serving major California ports. Demonstration trucks and charging infrastructure will be used in all five air districts, providing emission reduction benefits in key areas of California with drayage truck activity.
“This project will help put the very cleanest short-haul trucks to work where they are needed most, moving cargo from the state’s biggest ports to distribution centers and rail yards,” said ARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “This is good news – and cleaner air – for all Californians, but especially those who live in neighborhoods next to these industrial facilities or along some of our state’s busiest trade corridors.”
This is the first large-scale demonstration of zero-emission Class 8 trucks that involves major manufacturers, including BYD, Kenworth, Peterbilt and the Volvo Group.
The companies receiving funds have the engineering resources, manufacturing capabilities and distribution networks to support commercialization of advanced technologies related to moving freight to and from the ports.
“BYD is proud to work with the California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District and our fleet partners to advance clean, battery-electric transportation solutions in communities where it is needed most,” said Stella Li, president of BYD Motors. “BYD is a worldwide leader in battery technology and as the OEM providing the most battery-electric trucks under this solicitation, I believe other fleets will take notice and recognize that battery-powered drayage trucks are reliable and available for wider deployment today. We look forward to celebrating the delivery of our first battery-electric drayage truck in the fall of this year.”
The grant award is part of a larger statewide investment in low-carbon transportation projects that are pivotal to meeting California’s ambitious goals to reduce GHG emissions, improve air quality, deploy zero-emission vehicles and reduce petroleum dependency by accelerating the development and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies.
This project is part of the California Climate Investments, which use proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing a variety of additional benefits to California communities. The project also supports the Governor’s Executive Order (B-32-15) to ensure the state “transition to zero-emission technologies.”
Freight transport in California is a major economic engine for the state but also accounts for about half of toxic diesel particulate matter (PM 2.5), 45 percent of the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) that form ozone and fine particulate matter in the atmosphere, and 6 percent of all GHG emissions in California.
The SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.
BYD’s Pure Electric Buses
BYD has already carved out a major portion of the pure electric vehicle market. In 2015, the company shot to number one worldwide in EV car sales from only 7th in 2014.
It’s also dominating the pure electric bus market, and BYD’s pure electric buses and taxis are currently operating in over 200 cities in 48 countries worldwide, including the U.S., Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, the UK, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Japan, Thailand, and China.
BYD and Berkshire Hathaway
In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares, and today owns roughly 9.1% of the company.
For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.
© 2016 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.