WattEV, Port of Long Beach teaming up, build electric-truck charging at busy ocean port

This article is a part of FuelsFix's 2022 ACT Expo coverage.


LONG BEACH, Calif., May 10, 2022 – WattEV and the Port of Long Beach announced plans for WattEV to build a charging plaza for heavy-duty electric trucks inside the port complex.

Salim Youssefzadeh, Chief Executive Officer of WattEV – alongside Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero – announced the project during the annual Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo industry conference at the Long Beach Convention Center.

“This project is an exciting opportunity in WattEV’s near-term plans to build an electric-truck charging ‘highway’ from the Port of Long Beach to Sacramento by the end of 2023,” Youssefzadeh said.

ACT Expo 2022 in Long Beach, CA. Photo by NHOUSE Photo Services for Gladstein Neandross and Associates

The charging facility would serve WattEV’s fleet of electric trucks as well other carriers committed to electrifying trucking operations to and from the combined ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, which receive some 40% of the nation’s imported goods.

Combined, the ports have 20,000 trucks in their registries using combustion engines, more than 25% of which are older than 10 years. Both ports have been setting clean air goals for nearly two decades.

“WattEV’s electric charging facility at the Port of Long Beach would be a major step towards encouraging transporters to transition to zero emission trucking,” Youssefzadeh said.

“This charging station represents the southern anchor of our ‘Electric Highway,’ serving heavy transport corridors in Southern California as well as north-bound freight through the San Joaquin Valley. Sacramento is the northern anchor for our infrastructure development. We’re planning two more e-truck charging plazas between there and Long Beach,” Youssefzadeh said.

Cordero of the Port of Long Beach said, WattEV’s charging plaza – located on Pier A Way in one of the port’s main area of operations – would serve as “visible testimony” to the Port of Long Beach’s commitment to electric mobility and clean air.

“Our Clean Air Action Plan calls for bold, aggressive measures to reduce port emissions and their impact on neighboring communities,” Cordero said, “without sacrificing economic efficiency and jobs. Our quest is not about ‘reducing’ emissions, but about ‘eliminating’ emissions. Projects such as this are an important part of the Port of Long Beach achieving its clean-air goals and honors our commitment to be a good neighbor and environmental steward.”

WattEV is actively working with Southern California Edison (SCE) to power its charging stations throughout SCE’s service area, including those under construction in Gardena, San Bernardino and the planned Port of Long Beach charging plaza.

WattEV’s POLB e-truck charging plaza – designed for everyday use by drayage operators and longer-haul fleets – will initially feature 26 charging bays using Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors to provide power at up to 360 kilowatts. The CCS system is the current charging standard for heavy-duty e-trucks, while faster-charging systems are under development.

With the availability of trucks with Megawatt charging capability, eight more e-truck bays are planned at the POLB charging plaza, featuring the faster, higher-power Megawatt Charging System (MCS), rated for charging at up to 1.2 megawatts. The MCS is expected to become the worldwide standard for fast-charging of medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

While WattEV welcomes fleets and individual operators to charge up at its e-truck charging network, the company also will be operating its own fleet of branded electric trucks for its Trucks-as-a-Service (TaaS) program. WattEV is expecting initial deliveries to begin by the end of this year for 50 Volvo VNR electric trucks on order, and several hundred more from various manufacturers thereafter.

Under WattEV’s TaaS system, large and small fleet operators that join WattEV’s service platform can electrify their freight operations on a pay-as-you-go basis without the unknowns in charging and range, and without the large, up-front capital investment.

WattEV has set a goal of putting 12,000 electric heavy-duty trucks on the road with a supporting infrastructure by 2030. To that end, WattEV is actively building additional electric truck charging stations in Bakersfield, Gardena, San Bernardino and expects to break ground in Sacramento at a solar-powered facility on U.S. Interstate 5 across from the Sacramento International Airport air freight hub.

The charging network and WattEV’s heavy-duty e-fleet will facilitate the zero-emission transport of goods to and from air and ocean ports and large warehouses in the Inland

Empire, the Sacramento region, and the agricultural sectors of the vast San Joaquin Valley.

“We’re on schedule to build out electric truck stops from the ports to Southern California warehouses and up I-5 and Highway 99 to Sacramento, and east along the I-10 to Barstow, Blythe and neighboring states, and beyond,” Youssefzadeh said.

“The Port of Long Beach site would add impetus to fulfilling our vision of leading the transition to electric trucking. As WattEV moves toward revenue generation in 2023, we’ll be scaling up our operations for expansion over the next several years,” he said.

About WattEV

WattEV’s mission is to accelerate the transition of U.S. trucking transport to zero emissions. It uses a combination of business and technology innovations to create charging infrastructure and data-driven workflow that provide truckers and fleet operators the lowest total cost of ownership. WattEV’s goal is to get 12,000 heavy-duty electric trucks on California roads by the end of 2030, exceeding existing forecasts. More information is available online at www.WattEV.com.

About the Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. As the second-busiest container seaport in the United States, the Port handles trade valued at more than $200 billion annually and supports 2.6 million trade-related jobs across the nation, including 575,000 in Southern Calif


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