Testing for first zero-emission top handlers

Electric top handlers Electric top handlers at the Port of Los Angeles. Image: Port of Los Angeles

The world’s first zero-emission battery-electric top handlers will be tested at a California container terminal as part of a port’s drive for clean cargo-handling operations.

Two pre-commercial top handlers, designed and built in the US by Taylor Machine Works, Inc., have been demonstrated at the Port of Los Angeles and will now undergo testing at the Everport Container Terminal.

“We’re excited to power up these battery-electric top handlers and test them under the real-world conditions of a working container terminal,” said Gene Seroka, executive director at the Port of Los Angeles.

Long-lasting charge

The battery-electric top handlers, which are off-road vehicles with an overhead boom for loading containers, run on a one-megawatt battery designed to operate for up to 18 hours between charges. Each top handler has a data logger for tracking hours of operation, charging frequency, energy usage and other performance indicators.

Workers will be able to provide valuable input on the maneuverability, noise level and safety of the equipment.

Both top handlers will be tested over a 12-month period, expected to begin by the end of the year. The port and its partners will also evaluate the functionality of the connections and systems for charging the top handlers.

The port aims to advance commercially feasible solutions to meet its goal of transitioning all cargo-handling equipment to zero emissions by 2030. The battery-electric top handlers are a key component of the port’s US$7.7m Everport Advanced Cargo Handling Demonstration Project.

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