First US electric straddle carrier testing

Containers Containers at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal. Credit: Captain Albert E. Theberge, NOAA Corps (ret.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Port of New York and New Jersey will undertake testing of the first all-electric straddle carrier in the US for the first time at any US port as part of its bid to meet Paris Climate Agreement greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets.

Under a partnership with the port authority, at the end of this year Maher Terminals will carry out a one-year pilot test at its container terminal at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal to explore the level of greenhouse gas emissions that can be reduced by the straddle carrier. By not emitting any tailpipe gases, the straddle carrier is expected to reduce greenhouse gases by the equivalent of 52 fewer passenger vehicles.

“We are proud to take a leadership role in reducing harmful emissions at our facilities to significantly improve air quality throughout the region and particularly in our host communities,” said port authority chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The electrification of cargo handling equipment is one of many projects that clearly demonstrate our commitment to the agency’s sustainability goals.”

Paris goals

At its October 2018 meeting, the port authority’s board of commissioners unanimously embraced the Paris Climate Agreement. The resolution adopted by the board called for a 35% reduction by 2025 in greenhouse gas emissions generated by the port authority’s own operations. The board also reaffirmed the port authority’s prior commitment to an 80% reduction by 2050.

To meet these targets, the port authority is carrying out other ongoing initiatives including the ‘Terminal Tractor Hybrid Retrofit’, a collaboration with port tenants to install automatic engine start-stop systems to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by limiting the amount of time the engine spends idling.

It is also managing the ‘Clean Vessel Incentive Program’, which incentivises ocean carriers to burn cleaner fuel and reduce speed to navigate at an optimal speed for fuel conservation.

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