GSC Logistics, Oakland, Calif., announced plans to acquire two more electric big rigs to discover if zero-emission tractors can haul cargo containers over highways.

“Our first tractor is fine moving containers around the port; it does the job,” says Brandon Taylor, director of transportation. “Now we want to test these new trucks on the road – the manufacturer says they can haul fully loaded containers 55 miles per hour up a steep grade.”

GSC is acquiring two 13-ton electric trucks with assistance from state grants. The rigs would both have twin 241-horse power battery-driven motors. Each truck would travel 125 miles on a battery charge. 

GSC, which hauls the equivalent of 120,000 20-foot-containers annually through Oakland, began electric truck testing 18 months ago. The company expects its second battery-powered rig this month. A third arrives in the fall.

Port of Oakland environmental scientists are following the trial closely because battery-powered tractors are expected to factor in Oakland’s stated quest for zero-emission cargo handling.

“We’re grateful to these firms for taking a chance on battery power,” says Richard Sinkoff, environmental programs and planning director for Port of Oakland. “We can’t get to zero emissions without pioneers to lead the charge.”