Second trucking firm goes electric at Oakland

Port of Oakland Impact Transportation's electric twin-axle tractor will be used to shuttle cargo through the company’s Oakland depot. Credit: Port of Oakland

Impact Transportation has become the second trucking company at the Port of Oakland to invest in zero emissions equipment with the purchase of an all-electric truck for yard operations.

The USD$275,000 twin-axle tractor, known as a yard hostler, will be used to shuttle cargo through the company’s port depot. The yard hostler can run for 12 hours on its 80-kilowatt-hour battery.  The battery charges during operations, then plugs in overnight.

“We’re grateful to Impact Transportation for exploring battery power,” said Port of Oakland associate environmental planner/scientist Catherine Mukai. “The road to zero-emissions will be a long one and we need leaders to take the first step.”

Emissions strategy

Impact Transportation said it purchased its yard tractor with the help of a USD$175,000 state grant. “We love it, so far,” said Impact Transportation president Ron Cancilla. “Considering the grant and the cost to buy and maintain a diesel truck, this seemed to be a no-brainer.”

Impact operates three hostlers that move freight ranging from wine to helicopters.  The company said its electric truck may see double duty retrieving cargo containers from Oakland marine terminals.

The truck purchase is the latest step in the port’s quest to phase out diesel-powered freight hauling and move towards zero-emission port operations. A big part of that effort would include curbing exhaust from thousands of trucks that work at the port.

Another Oakland-based freight hauler, GSC Logistics, introduced the first all-electric truck at the port last February. That rig transports cargo between Oakland marine terminals and GSC’s container yard at the port.

More electric vehicles

Thanks to government grants, more battery-powered vehicles are on the way to Oakland by 2020, the port said.

Port tenant Shippers Transport Express should get 10 zero-emission, battery-powered trucks to haul containers.

Another tenant, SSA, would acquire five zero-emission yard trucks to shuttle containers within Matson marine terminal, which SSA operates.

Port of Oakland and City officials are also currently circulating a draft plan to reduce the impact of transport trucks on local streets.

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