Port of Oakland-based firm first to test battery-powered big rig

Oakland, Calif. – Aug. 2, 2017: A major Port of Oakland-based trucking operator plans to test battery-powered big rig technology here in September.  GSC Logistics said today it will launch a three-year trial with a heavy-duty, all-electric truck.  The test is part of a statewide effort to determine the feasibility of zero-emission freight hauling.

GSC, the Port’s largest motor carrier, becomes the first Northern California drayage company to test battery-powered trucks.  CEO Scott Taylor said his firm would consider purchasing additional rigs if the trial is successful.

“The purpose of the demo is to prove that battery-operated trucks can work in real world applications and port operations,” said Mr. Taylor.   “Depending on the efficiency, reliability, productivity and economics of battery-powered trucks, GSC would certainly entertain the possibility of integrating them into our fleet in the future.”

California’s Air Resources Board initiated the zero-emission truck trial last year.  It’s sponsoring a test with five battery-powered rigs in Southern California concurrent with the Oakland study.  Shenzhen, China-based BYD Co. is manufacturing the trucks.

“We’re out to prove that zero-emission, battery-powered trucks can be used in heavy-duty applications,” said Andy Swanton of subsidiary BYD California.  He said the benefits of electric vs. diesel-powered trucks include:

  • Lower operating costs;
  • No diesel exhaust; and
  • Quieter rides for drivers and neighborhoods near truck routes.

GSC Logistics said its truck will shuttle import containers from Port of Oakland marine terminals to a nearby yard.  The rig has a 100-mile battery range. The company said it would install a charging station to plug in the vehicle.

GSC hauls the equivalent of 100,000 20-foot containers of cargo annually in Northern California and Nevada.  It manages a fleet of 200 trucks.

The Port of Oakland said the state-sponsored trial by GSC Logistics fits well with its emission-reduction efforts.  The Port said it has reduced diesel particulate emissions from harbor trucks by 98 percent in the past decade.

“We’ve done everything from subsidizing clean-truck purchases to shrinking the queues at our gates,” said Port of Oakland Environmental Programs and Planning Director Richard Sinkoff. “Battery-powered trucks are a logical next-step for exploration.”

About the Port of Oakland:
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts:
Mike Zampa,
Communications Director
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1565
[email protected]

Marilyn Sandifur,
Port Spokesperson
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1193
Click here to contact Marilyn Sandifur


Media & Newsroom

Not sure who to contact or have a general question? Use our contact form to route your request