A One-of-a-Kind Electric Truck Helping to Clean the Air

A One-of-a-Kind Electric Truck Helping to Clean the Air

The semi-trucks that we see every day on local streets and freeways typically run on diesel and have an exhaust stack sticking out from the top of the cab. But not the semi that BAE Systems uses to bring materials from its warehouse to its Barrio Logan shipyard at the Port of San Diego.

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BAE Systems’ truck does not have a stack because it is fueled entirely by electricity and produces zero emissions. Equipped with an 80,000-pound towing capacity, the truck is so quiet you may not hear it coming. The truck is also visually distinctive because parts of it are wrapped in photos of colorful murals from nearby Chicano Park – a cultural landmark in Barrio Logan boasting the world’s largest collection of Chicano murals. One of the murals featured on the truck honors Chicano leaders, such as Cesar Chavez, Benito Juarez and Dolores Huerta. Another mural on the truck highlights the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec deity found in many murals throughout the park.

SDG&E is proud to be part of a public-private partnership that brought the electric truck to fruition. Other organizations involved in the collaborative effort include the San Diego Port Tenants Association, Port of San Diego, California Air Resources Board (CARB), South Coast Air Quality Management District and San Diego Air Pollution Control District. Meritor, which acquired Escondido-based TransPower last year, built the truck.

Pioneering Clean Transportation at the Port

For nearly a decade, SDG&E has been involved with various initiatives to promote the adoption of electric vehicles and equipment at the Port of San Diego. The BAE Systems truck is the second electric truck that we helped bring to a port tenant. Several years ago, we worked with the Port Tenants Association to secure a $5.9 million grant from the California Energy Commission to enable the association’s members to transition to electric forklifts and heavy-duty trucks.

SDG&E is committed to helping many more commercial and industrial businesses make the switch to electric fleets. We have launched a charging infrastructure program known as Power Your Drive for Fleets, which will support the deployment of at least 3,000 medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles and equipment in the San Diego region over the next five years.

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Why Transportation Electrification?

The transportation sector is the single largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in our region and in California – making up about 40% of the state’s total emissions. Electrifying vehicles and equipment are widely considered one of the most impactful ways to reduce GHG emissions and clean the air. For that reason, the Port of San Diego, individual port tenants, local governments, SDG&E and many local businesses have set ambitious goals to reduce transportation-related emissions.