Ports Go Electric in Drive to Decarbonize and Cut Pollution

Led by the Port of San Diego, California’s dockyards are moving away from diesel machinery and plugging in.

Ships turn off their engines and plug in to the electrical system to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions at the Port of San Diego. Dockyard vehicles are also going electric. Credit: Port of San Diego

PORT OF SAN DIEGO—Jesse Nelson, operations manager for Terminalift, a cargo loading company, is taking his new toy for a spin. The electric semi truck is about 22,000 pounds unloaded, but it slides silently between the towering loading cranes as it navigates a crowded pier at San Diego’s bustling wharf.

When Nelson sees another dock worker crossing his path, he gives the horn a long pull. “It is so quiet,” he says of the truck, “people can’t hear us coming.”

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