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Port begins low-emission truck pilot project

Project a step toward port's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030

The Port of Prince Rupert took another step June 10 toward its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

The port has started taking delivery of four new heavy-duty low- and no-emission trucks, two hydrogen-powered, one battery-electric and one hydrogen-diesel co-combustion.

So far, one truck has been delivered, a fully electric Freightliner eCascadia, which was unveiled in an announcement event at the port's container terminal June 10.

The trucks are part of a pilot project led by Innovate BC intended to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainability in the province’s transportation sector, according to a press release from the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA).

The Integrated Marketplace project, scheduled to run through to the end of 2026, will evaluate the vehicles' ranges, reliability and potential best uses in port operations by operating the trucks on existing routes.

“The Integrated Marketplace acts as a platform for partners like Prince Rupert Port Authority, which are key contributors to British Columbia’s economic growth, to de-risk the adoption of new technologies while supporting the decarbonization and innovation goals of their organizations and the province,” said Peter Cowan, president and CEO of Innovate BC.

Testing of the Cascadia will begin this summer. The port anticipates the other three vehicles will arrive this fall.

Nearly $6 million in funding has been provided for the project by the federal government ($3 million), province ($2.45 million) and port authority ($500,000).

The money will pay for the purchase of the trucks as well as the supportive infrastructure for fueling, charging and maintenance. This includes EV charging stations and local production of hydrogen fuel.

“This partnership between governments, industry and B.C. businesses will help accelerate the Port of Prince Rupert’s continued progress toward decarbonizing port operations and to enable greater competitiveness and sustainability for Canadian supply chains,” said Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. 

Other project partners include Velocity Truck Centres, Gat Leedm Logistics, Delta-based Hydra Energy and NuPort Robotics.

Velocity will support the purchase and maintenance of the hydrogen fuel cell and the hydrogen-diesel co-combustion and battery-electric heavy-duty trucks.

The trucks will be operated by Gat Leedm Logistics, a local, Indigenous-owned company that is the largest supplier of drayage services to the port. The hydrogen and hydrogen-hybrid trucks will be and powered, in part, hydrogen fuel generated locally by Delta-based Hydra Energy.

NuPort Robotics will install hardware, conduct data collection and report on performance metrics, data acquisition, and analytics for the project.

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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