Volvo LIGHTS project partner NFI led Southern California freight movement fleets in a parade of low- and zero-emission trucks to commemorate the opening of the new Port of Long Beach bridge.
Volvo Trucks North America’s Class 8 VNR Electric truck led a group of Southern California freight movement fleets in a clean truck parade on Friday, October 2 to commemorate the opening of Port of Long Beach’s new cable-stayed bridge. The lead Volvo VNR Electric truck was driven by NFI, a third-party supply chain solutions provider, and joined by a second Volvo VNR Electric truck from Dependable Highway Express (DHE). The two fleets, partners in the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project, are piloting Volvo Trucks’ battery-electric models through 2021, demonstrating the trucks’ ability to reliably move freight between the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and warehouses throughout the region with less noise and zero emissions.
“We enjoyed having the opportunity to showcase Volvo Trucks’ commitment to building a sustainable transport solution and were honored to see our Volvo VNR Electric truck take the lead position in the Port of Beach’s parade,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “The ports have been a fantastic partner in the Volvo LIGHTS project, helping us to assess infrastructure needs to encourage early adoption of battery-electric trucks at California’s ports.”
Volvo Trucks North America is among the first major truck manufacturers to announce plans to commercialize Class 8 battery-electric trucks in North America with its soon-to-market Volvo VNR Electric model, initially targeting local and regional distribution. Additional announcements about fleet customer demonstrations will be made soon.
“NFI has opted to take a leadership role in electrification because we believe it’s the right thing to do,” said Bill Bliem, senior vice president, Fleet Services, NFI Industries. “We are proud of the steps our fleet has made to reduce its carbon footprint through innovative partnerships with Volvo Trucks and others and were honored to be asked to lead the Port of Long Beach clean truck parade today. We look forward to our Volvo VNR Electrics crossing this bridge on a regular basis.”
“DHE has a demonstrated commitment to environmental leadership, which is why we couldn’t be prouder to be one of the nation’s first fleets to deploy Volvo VNR Electric trucks,” said Joe Finney, chief operating officer, Dependable Highway Express. “There are thousands of trucks on the road in California every day, and our team is investing a significant amount of time and capital to do all that we can to reduce our emissions and clean the air. Volvo’s VNR Electric trucks showcased in the parade will help DHE and other trucking companies leave a better environment for future generations.”
The new Port of Long Beach bridge—a $1.5 billion, 7-year joint effort with Caltrans, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)—will provide greater access for larger cargo ships to enter the port’s inner harbor terminals and provide expanded capacity for truck traffic. Combined, the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles handle nearly 40 percent of the nation’s total containerized import traffic and 25 percent of its total exports. Since 2008, the two ports have collaborated on a groundbreaking Clean Truck Program to reduce the impact of truck emissions on the local community, with a goal of fully transitioning to zero emission drayage trucks by 2035.
“The modern, fuel-efficient trucks parading across our bridge on Friday signify our industry-leading efforts toward breathing cleaner air and improving the quality of life for our community since the Clean Truck Program was enacted 12 years ago,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “Vehicles like the battery-electric Volvo VNR demonstrate that it’s feasible to meet our goal of bringing zero-emission trucks to the Port by 2035.”
In addition to the Volvo VNR Electric trucks driven by NFI and Dependable Highway Express, an array of advanced clean trucks—battery-electric, natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell electric—were driven by Total Transportation Solutions, Inc (TTSI), Golden State Logistics, Gold Point, Quick Pick Express, Overseas Freight, MDB Transportation, Southern Counties Express, Tradelink Trans, Duncan & Sons, Pacific 9 Transportation, Green Trucking, and Pacific Drayage Services.
“Today’s clean truck parade shows that the technology for zero-emission trucks is here and available,” said Judy Mitchell, governing board member at South Coast AQMD and CARB. “This type of progress would not be possible without innovative solutions and strong partnerships with truck manufacturers like Volvo. We must continue working towards getting more of these trucks on the road so that we can see air quality improvements in Southern California and across the entire state.”
The Volvo LIGHTS project was made possible by an award to South Coast AQMD of $44.8 million from the California Air Resources Board as part of California Climate Investments (CCI). CCI is a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.