Thursday, June 19, 2008

Super Duper Duty Electric Trucks at LA Port


The Port Authority of Los Angeles has taken to the idea of using electric trucks for hauling, and they aren't messing around with rinky-dink trucks. Nope, they've tried out an EV truck with some major pulling power. It can go as fast as 40 MPH, as far as 60 miles, and pull as much as 60,000 lbs. The distance and speed seems low for a single charge, but when you figure that since the truck is being used for heavy work on the port, it isn't exactly needing to get very far very fast, and so the capabilities work out just fine for eco-friendly short-haul strength.

Of course, the truck is profoundly expensive, with the 2007 prototype costing nearly $530,000. Despite the price, the LA Harbor Commission approved the production of 20 of these electric yard trucks. Which, when you consider how much fuel diesel trucks eat up and the emissions they spit out just while idling for loading and unloading, the cost is somewhat balanced out. The trucks are plug-ins, so hopefully someday soon we'll see solar panels or wind turbines popping up at the port to generate clean electricity to power the behemoths. Hey, I can be Polly-Anna when I want to.

Trucks with this type of power are not yet widely seen for obvious reasons. They're expensive. The batteries are heavy. They can't go very far on a charge. With these issues, using electric trucks for short hauls like this makes far more sense than using them for long distance driving. However, hybrid garbage trucks and some other massive muscle vehicles are in the works, and UPS is up to the challenge to convert their fleet of trucks to electric and fuel efficient. Perhaps through new developments being taken up by folks like UPS and the LA port, we'll see examples and milestones set for more eco-friendly heavy duty trucks.

Via Autobloggreen

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