The Port's electric forklift being plugged into the new and efficient charging stations.

Port of San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal Equipped With New Chargers For Electric Equipment Ahead of Cruise Season

Nine electric chargers installed to reduce air pollution

SAN DIEGO, July 2, 2019 – Cruise ship passengers embarking or disembarking at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal on the Embarcadero in Downtown San Diego enjoy cleaner air these days, thanks to chargers that have come online ahead of the 2019-2020 cruise season to allow electric forklifts to operate more efficiently.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and the Port of San Diego (Port) partnered to bring nine charging stations to the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal as part of a wider effort to electrify equipment and vehicles to help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions regionwide from Port operations.

The Port Electrification Project is one of several projects undertaken by SDG&E to further expand the charging network to help accelerate the adoption of clean vehicles and equipment. The Port’s electric forklifts have been plugging into the building’s wall outlets for many years. SDG&E’s collaboration with the Port resulted in the installation  of nine chargers to more efficiently charge the equipment and set a standard for future electric equipment needing similar charging capabilities.

In recent years, SDG&E has been working with Port tenants to install chargers for forklifts, trucks and a reach stacker. These efforts complement the Port’s ongoing sustainability initiatives to green its operations. In 2010, the Port completed a shore power system, so cruise ships can plug into the grid for power and shut down their diesel engines while they are berthed here.

“The Port of San Diego aspires to be among the greenest Ports in America, and we have found a great partner in SDG&E to make progress toward that vision,” said Port Commissioner Marshall Merrifield. “When you put two innovators together, SDG&E and the Port of San Diego, great things can happen.”

The chargers installed at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal are used to charge forklifts that transfer food and goods on and off cruise ships docked at that terminal.

“The chargers are very easy to use; they’re very self-explanatory,” said Joe Lockhart, regional manager of Metro Cruise, who noted that the chargers have significantly reduced the amount of time needed to charge up the forklifts. “The hookups are simple—it’s like plugging something into your house.”

The transportation sector is the top source of harmful carbon emissions and air pollution. SDG&E’s projects were developed under Senate Bill (SB) 350, which recognized the vital role energy companies like SDG&E play in widespread transportation electrification by installing and expanding the charging network to help customers green their fleets. 

“If we’re going to align with the state goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we need to start with transportation,” said SDG&E’s Director of Clean Transportation Brittany Syz.

The Port also participated in SDG&E’s Power Your Drive program to have chargers installed at other facilities. Through this program, the Port now has 26 employee parking spaces outfitted with electric charging capabilities at three locations. This is helping the Port gear up for electric vehicles and the needs of its employees.

Transportation electrification is not just a tool for mitigating climate change, it’s also the natural progression of renewables, given that electric cars and trucks plugging into the power grid will be charging on ever increasing amounts of energy generated by the sun and wind.  The San Diego region has an abundance of solar energy during the day, and transportation electrification can help maximize the use of the excess solar energy. 

Today, around 45 percent of the energy SDG&E delivers to our customers comes from renewable sources, with none coming from coal contracts.    

Port employee charging electric forklift at new charging station.

SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing around 45 percent of its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.

The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities. The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.