The Port of Long Beach is working with WattEV to build a charging plaza for heavy-duty electric trucks inside the port complex. The charging facility would serve WattEV’s fleet of electric trucks as well other carriers committed to electrifying trucking operations to and from the combined ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, which receive some 40% of the nation’s imported goods.
Combined, the ports have 20,000 trucks in their registries using combustion engines, more than 25% of which are older than 10 years. Both ports have been setting clean air goals for nearly two decades.
“This project is an exciting opportunity in WattEV’s near-term plans to build an electric-truck charging ‘highway’ from the Port of Long Beach to Sacramento by the end of 2023,” says Salim Youssefzadeh, CEO of WattEV.
“This charging station represents the southern anchor of our ‘Electric Highway,’ serving heavy transport corridors in Southern California as well as north-bound freight through the San Joaquin Valley. Sacramento is the northern anchor for our infrastructure development. We’re planning two more e-truck charging plazas between there and Long Beach,” Youssefzadeh adds.
“Our Clean Air Action Plan calls for bold, aggressive measures to reduce port emissions and their impact on neighboring communities without sacrificing economic efficiency and jobs,” states Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach’s executive director. “Our quest is not about ‘reducing’ emissions, but about ‘eliminating’ emissions. Projects such as this are an important part of the Port of Long Beach achieving its clean-air goals and honors our commitment to be a good neighbor and environmental steward.”
WattEV is actively working with Southern California Edison (SCE) to power its charging stations throughout SCE’s service area, including those under construction in Gardena, San Bernardino and the planned Port of Long Beach charging plaza.
WattEV’s POLB e-truck charging plaza – designed for everyday use by drayage operators and longer-haul fleets – will initially feature 26 charging bays using combined charging system (CCS) connectors to provide power at up to 360 kW. The CCS system is the current charging standard for heavy-duty e-trucks, while faster charging systems are under development.
With the availability of trucks with MW-charging capability, eight more e-truck bays are planned at the POLB charging plaza, featuring the faster, higher-power megawatt charging system (MCS), rated for charging at up to 1.2 MW. The MCS is expected to become the worldwide standard for fast-charging medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.
While WattEV welcomes fleets and individual operators to charge up at its e-truck charging network, the company also will be operating its own fleet of branded electric trucks for its Trucks-as-a-Service (TaaS) program. WattEV is expecting initial deliveries to begin by the end of this year for 50 Volvo VNR electric trucks on order, and several hundred more from various manufacturers thereafter.
Under WattEV’s TaaS system, large and small feet operators that join WattEV’s service platform can electrify their freight operations on a pay-as-you-go basis without the unknowns in charging and range, and without the large, up-front capital investment.
WattEV has set a goal of putting 12,000 electric heavy-duty trucks on the road with a supporting infrastructure by 2030. To that end, WattEV is actively building additional electric truck charging stations in Bakersfield, Gardena, San Bernardino, and expects to break ground in Sacramento at a solar powered facility on U.S. Interstate 5 across from the Sacramento International Airport air freight hub.
The charging network and WattEV’s heavy-duty e-fleet will facilitate the zero-emission transport of goods to and from air and ocean ports and large warehouses in the Inland Empire, the Sacramento region, and the agricultural sectors of the vast San Joaquin Valley.
“We’re on schedule to build out electric truck stops from the ports to Southern California warehouses and up I-5 and Highway 99 to Sacramento, and east along the I-10 to Barstow, Blythe and neighboring states, and beyond,” continues Youssefzadeh.