In the shift from internal-combustion engines to cleaner electric batteries, one of the biggest challenges is making trucks more sustainable.
In California — which banned new diesel trucks from being sold or registered within the state starting in 2036 — that problem is particularly pronounced. And with a couple of the nation’s top three largest container ports found in the state (the Port of Los Angeles and the affiliated Port of Long Beach), cleaning up trucking is a particular concern.
But WattEV, a company that is trying to make heavy-duty EV trucks commercially viable, has made significant progress with the opening of a 26-port charging depot at the Port of Long Beach, as Electrek reported. A recent tweet recognized the new charging depot.
The Port of Long Beach now has a WattEV charging depot for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. https://t.co/FyVWyutvlu #WattEV #BatteryElectricTruck #SustainableTrucking #GreenFleets pic.twitter.com/3yCYxQ9V1x— Heavy Duty Trucking (@HDTrucking) July 31, 2023
While the installation of 13 dual-cord, 360-kilowatt carbon capture and storage chargers is a positive step and the company is planning another eight megawatts of capacity around 2026, there’s still a long way to go to meet demands at one of the busiest container ports in the Western Hemisphere.
According to Electrek, 20,000 trucks are registered at the Port of Long Beach. The port will need 160,000 chargers by 2045, when it plans for all trucking activity to produce zero pollution.
But this is the first electric truck charging point to open at the port, signaling a statement of intent as the depot goes through a significant change.
Electrek noted that diesel-powered vehicles contribute to heavy smog in the area, and the move to electric-powered trucks should improve the air quality for local residents.
California is one of the most progressive states when it comes to climate policy. It has also set an ambitious goal that would require only zero-emission vehicles to be sold in the state by 2035.
WattEV also has notable developments in the pipeline. The company has broken ground on the United States’ first electric truck charging station in Bakersfield, California. According to 23ABC, that site should be open by the end of 2023.
An Aug. 2 tweet highlighted WattEV’s broader project to build a network of electric truck charging depots in Northern California and Oregon.
Watt EV plans to build the nation's largest electric charging depot along I-5 near @FlySMF w/ support from @AQMD. "Over the past 25 yrs, @AQMD has invested $300M in #cleanair projects. We're proud to continue that commitment by partnering w/ @wattevinc…" https://t.co/5s8CgH061n— Sac Metro Air District (@AQMD) August 2, 2023
In a 2021 press release, WattEV noted that the Bakersfield charging station will be powered by solar energy in addition to standard power generation, and it’s hoped to provide charging capacity for 200 trucks per day.
“One hundred acres is going to be dedicated to solar, and the rest will be a traditional truck stop rest area where we’ve got a building for the amenities as well as overnight parking facilities and larger pass-through charging,” WattEV CEO Salim Youssefzadeh told 23ABC.
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