Biggest automated electric charging project

Stäubli charging Stäubli’s Quick Charging Connector (QCC) is a rapid charging system that is designed to be safe and efficient. Image: Stäubli

SSA Marine, Tritium and Stäubli Electrical Connectors are teaming up to provide automatic charging stations for over 30 soon to be electric terminal tractors at the Port of Long Beach in California to create the largest automated electric vehicle charging programme of any port in the US.

A total of 33 diesel-powered tractors will be retrofitted with all-electric drivetrain systems by SSA Marine, which manages the terminal at the Port of Long Beach. Tritium will install its Veefil-PK 175kW DC High Power Chargers (HPCs) to power the fleet.

The HPCs will also utilise Stäubli’s Quick Charging Connector (QCC), a rapid charging system that is designed to be safe and efficient and will allow all 33 terminal tractors to be automatically and simultaneously charged. The project is part of a plan to reduce emissions and noise.

“We are demonstrating the possibilities for the future of sustainable transportation and shipping by outfitting the Port of Long Beach with Stäubli’s QCC system,” said Christian España, sales and marketing manager at Stäubli Electrical Connectors. “We are proud to partner with Tritium on a charger that will make the job of port operators safer, easier and more efficient, while also creating a healthier work environment.”

Functional design

Stäubli’s QCC system features an enclosed pin-and-socket design that is self-cleaning, touch-protected on both sides of the connector and easily corrects for misalignment. It will enable the automatic connection of Tritium’s chargers to the electric receptacle that has been retrofitted on each port vehicle, creating a zero-touch charging experience for terminal tractor operators.

Installation of the chargers is scheduled to begin this year, while deliveries of the converted vehicles are scheduled to begin later this year until October 2020.

The project with SSA Marine is part of the US$50m Port of Long Beach grant obtained from the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Zero and Near Zero Emission Freight Facility (ZANZEFF) programme.

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