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October 2006


EPA provides $300,000 for hybrid tractors

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented a $300,000 grant to the Port of Long Beach to fund the development of hybrid-powered cargo-handling equipment and testing at one of the Port’s container shipping terminals.

The 2-year, $1.2 million project will research, develop, build and test ultra-low emissions hybrid cargo-handling vehicles, known as “yard hostlers,” to improve air quality. The project will test hybrid technology, which combines a clean source of power with a clean diesel engine for dramatic emissions reductions.

The Hybrid Yard Hostler Demonstration and Commercialization Project will be headed by the Port of Long Beach in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles. The testing will be at Long Beach Container Terminal’s Pier F facility at the Port of Long Beach. Cargo-handling equipment manufacturer Kalmar Industries will integrate the cleaner hybrid system into the yard hostlers.

Three of the hybrid yard hostlers will be operated and tested for six months at Long Beach Container Terminal. The hybrid vehicles would use either a hybrid-electric system to combine the cleanest available diesel engine technology with an electric motor, or a hybrid-hydraulic system that would combine the cleanest available diesel engine technology with components that use hydraulic fluid compression to store energy.

The hybrid-drive system, coupled with the cleanest available diesel engine, is expected to deliver a 93 percent reduction in smog-forming nitrogen oxides and diesel particulate matter compared to typical yard hostlers.

The hybrid technology is expected to reduce or eliminate emissions during idling, which can represent more than 50 percent of the yard hostler duty cycle. The estimated cuts in emissions from idling reductions during the six-month test are about 19 tons of nitrogen oxide and 200 pounds of particulate matter.

Long Beach Container Terminal is also conducting tests on yard hostlers powered by liquefied natural gas, a project which previously received grant funding from the EPA.

In addition to the $300,000 award from the EPA’s West Coast Collaborative, the two ports have agreed to contribute $375,000 each in funding and services toward the project. Kalmar, Long Beach Container Terminal and the hybrid technology supplier will provide an additional $150,000 in services.

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