The standing joke about the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach used to be that they were like the diesel version of elephant graveyards: the place where old trucks went to die. But lately, they have become a proving ground for technology that produces little or no pollution.
On Tuesday, the first of 25 heavy-duty all-electric trucks rolled off a new Los Angeles assembly line. All are slated to work at the Port of Los Angeles or to make short hauls to and from the harbor. The small fleet results from a partnership involving the Port of Los Angeles, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and a small business called Balqon Corp.
For a vehicle that is going to be doing a lot of grunt work with rusty cargo containers, its coming out party was pretty splashy.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was there for the unveiling of the Nautilus E30 and even took it for a short spin. He was joined by Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners President S. David Freeman and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel A. Pulido, who is a member of the air board.